W82TEXT raises awareness of texting while driving dangers

Posted at 8:54 AM, Feb 28, 2012

RICHMOND, VA (WTVR) — CBS 6 and Emroch and Kilduff are working to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving.

W82TEXT is a grassroots effort aimed at spreading the word about the growing danger, especially to younger drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009 involved reports of distracted driving.

In fact, the agency reports that of those killed in distracted-driving-related crashed, 995 involved reports of a cell phone distraction.

Additionally, drivers who use cell phones driving are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The NHTSA says 16 percent of all drivers younger than 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to have been distracted while driving.

The University of Utah says using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, can delay a driver’s reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent.