Distracted driving leads cause of accidents in Citrus County, Texting and Driving Bill could help

Posted at 7:07 PM, Feb 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-05 19:07:01-05

Driving too fast and not wearing a seatbelt are both things that can cause you to get hurt while driving, but the sheriff’s office in Citrus County says there is one thing causing more accidents than ever, and it's cell phones.

"Whether they’re on their phone talking to someone, texting someone, or looking for directions on their phone, our phones have a tremendous amount of information and unfortunately we’re looking at those way too much while we’re driving," Citrus County Sheriff's Captain David Vincent said.
So much that Vincent says phones are one of the reasons the number of traffic deaths have gone up by 30 percent in Citrus County.

"There’s a whole bunch of things that are affected by looking away for that split second," he said.
And drivers are noticing it too.

"Its really scary. They’re driving distracted, and too fast. They don’t pay attention to stop lights, stop signs or people. They just go," Mary Jacobs said.
Citrus County started a campaign in December called "#JustDriveCitrus" to bring awareness to the problem.
"Is that text message worth that split second where it can change your life or someone else," Vincent said.
Some state lawmakers want to take that choice away. If passed, House Bill 33 would make Florida join 43 other states where it’s illegal to text and drive.
Vincent believes the bill would help the number of crashes in Citrus County and across the state, go down.

"I think everywhere is seeing an increase in crashes and it goes back to that distracted driving."