Eyes FWD: Reminding Drivers to Watch the Road

By Cristina Frank
By Sam Gaddes

May 23, 2012 Updated May 24, 2012 at 3:55 AM EDT

Town of Union, NY (WBNG Binghamton) On average, teens send or receive nearly 3,500 text messages per month.

Along with chatting on the phone, a lot of that is being done while behind the wheel.

"There's a lot of people on their phone, texting, backing up, driving through the parking lot on their phone whatever," said Joseph Hollenbeck, 20. "You know, I just think it makes you a very careless driver."

"They are always texting while driving," said Katie Kenyon, 16. "But, even if I see people while out on the road I'll say, 'Oh, there's a ticket for somebody to get.'"

With more people doing it - driving schools are focusing on reminding young drivers about those dangers.

"If you ever see someone talking on a cell phone out there, if you can, drop in behind them and just watch what they do," said David White, from the Baxter Driving School. "They speed up, they slow down. Just like somebody who is driving stoned."

Someone who is texting while driving, takes their eyes off the road on average for five seconds.

At 60 miles per hour, that's 90 feet per second.

Instructors say they tell students: if the call or text is important, just pull over.

Checking out the numbers, 46% of teens actually admit to texting while in the driver's seat.

"So many people getting injured," said White. "Too many people dying, it's now taken over the number two problem on our roads from drinking and driving. It's even worse than drinking and driving."

White says it's going to take friends, family and the community to remind all drivers to ignore the buzzing and text alerts until the car is in park.