Expert warns drivers about the importance of not texting while driving

Expert warns drivers about the importance of not texting while driving

OMAHA,Neb(FOX42KPTM)-Distracted driving is a major concern in Omaha and everywhere in the U.S. Over the weekend, a driver slammed into the back of another car because they were texting. Officials say no one was hurt.

"Sadly it doesn't surprise me to see pictures like that," Eric Koeppe said. He's the CEO of The National Safety Council of Nebraska.

He says texting while driving distracts people in three different ways. This includes visually, physically and mentally.

"Your mind is occupied about what you are texting or what you're sending a message about."

It may not seem like a big deal, but that quick glance at your phone is actually a huge gap.

"We know at 55 miles per hour, a person travels the length of a football field in five seconds, so if you're looking down at your phone, you're reading a text message, you do that for five seconds, you've traveled almost the length of a football field, that's a lot of distance to not be paying attention," Koeppe said.

Most of the time, he says people just can't help but to respond to their phones.

"That's an immediate euphoria that enters a person's body, so it is a feeling of euphoria that something has come in and I really have to find out what it is."

Back in November, FOX 42 introduced you to Rob Reynolds. Reynolds' daughter, Cady was killed when a driver who was texting ran a red light.

"I'll never be able to see my daughter grow up, I'll never be able to walk her down the aisle, I'll never see her kids," Reynolds said.

"The five minutes it takes to drive between one store to another or the 10 minutes it takes for me to drive home is really not that long to be without information. I think that's the challenge we face in our society," Koeppe said.

Koeppe mentions that if your phone is tied to your GPS, it's best to set it up before you start driving. It's also important to keep your phone out of reach if you're not using the GPS.

Most cell phones allow you so set your phone to "DO NOT DISTURB". This means if you text someone while they're driving, they won't be able to respond until the car stops. The phone will send an automatic reply.

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