TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) — Through 3-D simulators Buffalo drivers got to test drive how dangerous taking your eyes off the road can be, and how the worst case scenario could play out.
“It was definitely scary. My phone will be going in the glove compartment. I mean I have a blue tooth but even a blue tooth can be distracting,” said Helena Gray-Beathley of Buffalo.
A recent study by the Triple A Foundation for Traffic Research found that 70 percent of drivers admit to using their cell phone will driving and here in New York it will cost you. Texting and driving could mean a $200 ticket and 5 points on your license. But despite tough laws in New York, many drivers are still putting themselves and others at risk.
“This isn’t something that’s kind of on the decline the number of people using their smart phones or devices while driving is actually on the rise,” said Trooper James O’Callaghan of New York State Police.
According to New York State Police from January 1st to May 2nd of 2015, 1,253 tickets related to distracted driving were issued in Western New York. During that same time period in 2016 that number has actually increased to 1,368.
“Our younger drivers our teens and low twenties they’re our high risk they’re the people who have grown up with these devices it’s their way of life,” said Trooper O’Callaghan.
Between memorial day and labor day that risk increases during what is considered the 100 deadliest days on the road.
“There are more people on the roadways more young people driving, there are more cyclists out more pedestrians more motorcycles a lot of activity. This is the most important time to be careful,” said Elizabeth Carey, AAA western and central NY Government Affairs Manager.
For those of you who can’t put your phone down, there’s an app called DriveMode that deactivates texting when the car is moving and sends an away message to people texting.