Dangers of distracted driving in North Central Wisconsin - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Dangers of distracted driving in North Central Wisconsin

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CENTRAL WISCONSIN (WAOW) -

They're all around us when we're behind the wheel.

"Reaching for a soda. Your phone ringing. Something on the radio," Wausau native James Feighery said.

Distractions take our attention away from the road and put people's lives at risk.

"Like all of the time, you'll just see people looking down and looking up," Grace Nowak said.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, there are nearly three distracted driving crashes every hour in the state.

"It's huge," Wisconsin State Trooper Max Bahling said. "If you're ten over the speed limit it might not seem huge to you when you're just driving, but you look at the radio, you look at your phone, and all of a sudden the car in front of you stopped. It's bad news."

State highway safety experts said distracted driving crashes involving teens spike 18-percent during the summer, but it's not just a concern among younger drivers.

"Even the most experienced driver is going to have difficulty operating a cell phone through text messaging and concentrating on all of the information that person is taking in while driving or going down an avenue," Neal Gavinski, owner of CW Driving School LLP in Schofield said.

Experts said it's important to know your limits while driving because all it takes is one text to put yourself and others in danger.

"It just takes a second or two to change somebody's life forever," Feighery added.

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