Danger ahead – apping while driving

Jul 2, 2010, 2:56 AM | Updated: Mar 28, 2011, 3:46 pm

We know it’s illegal in Washington to talk on a hand-held cell phone while driving. But there’s another danger behind the wheel troopers are seeing more often – apping while driving.

Apping 005An insurance company just released a national study that found one out of four of us admit to using phone applications while driving. They claim they’re only doing that when when they’re waiting at red lights or are stuck in traffic. Really officer, I swear.

People are checking Facebook posts, reading Twitter updates or sending tweets, watching YouTube videos, playing games, or even buying phone apps.

Three percent of those surveyed use their cell phones to download apps, while three percent watch TV on their phones, and two percent are playing games.

“Social networking has become an obsession for many people, but it’s critical that people not try to do it while driving,” says Bill Windsor, Nationwide’s associate vice president for consumer safety. “No post or tweet is so important it’s worth losing your life over.”

Even without phones as a distraction, Windsor says drivers focus too much on “toys” in their vehicles. About 38 percent report they have been hit by a distracted driver, or else they’ve been the one who rear-ended someone else because technology in their car – DVD player, GPS system, radio – took their eyes off the road.

We’re still waiting for the Washington State Patrol’s report on the number of tickets they’ve handed out since our state’s ban on talking on a cell phone while driving went into effect almost a month ago.

Put your smart phone down while driving (I will too) and have a safe Fourth of July weekend!

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Danger ahead – apping while driving