AAA recognizes April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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ADA, OK -- AAA is recognizing April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

AAA spokesman, Danial Karnes, said "Texting creates a crash risk 23 times worse than when you?re just driving and not distacted."

AAA Oklahoma is focusing on texting while driving and Karnes said it's more dangerous than you think.

According to AAA, over three thousand people were killed in 2011 because of a distracted driver. Oklahoma does not have any laws banning texting while driving and Karnes said AAA is working to change that.

OHP trooper, Ken Duncan says he's seen several accidents caused by talking and texting on the phone. He thinks it's becoming more common for those behind the wheel.

"We get comfortable with our driving that I feel secure..oh I can send this text, or I can take this quick phone call," said Duncan. "All it takes is that little bit of distraction for something to happen and we're called because of that crash."

While many people are aware of the dangers, some try to be more cautious when they talk and text on the road.

"I do it when there?s not a lot of traffic or I'm at a stoplight," said ECU student, Meg Stewart.

Another ECU student, Matthew Taylor said, "I know the dangers, but I try to limit it as much as I can by using a voice activated text messaging system."

Although using a hands-free system on your phone may be a safer way to communicate, Duncan says it can still be a distraction.

"Your attention is still partially on your phone call, so your attention is divided between trying to drive and on that phone call," said Duncan.

Both say that the safest way to be is completely focused on driving, and if you have to use the phone, they said to get off the road before you text or talk.

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