Safe 2 Save study finds more local adults and teens are distracted while driving

MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - It's been about a year since the Safe 2 Save app started encouraging drivers to put down their phones and earn rewards from local businesses. But a study, conducted with students found not everyone is participating.

It happens everywhere, every day. Drivers text and drive way too often. Leading local businesses to come together to support the Safe 2 Save app.

"It's scary, you know? It's the new way," said Old Miners Maze Owner Ricky Hickey. "Everyone wants to use their phone everywhere but there's a certain time and a certain place for everything."

By resisting your phone when you're on the road, you earn points from participating businesses, all in the effort to stop distracted driving.

"Without the people here, we wouldn't have a business so it's important to keep them in mind and do something that benefits them," said Katie Roberts with Kent Corporate Communications and Brand Development.

Safe 2 Save surveyed students from local high schools and colleges and found both adults and teens still can't seem to put their phone down.

Texting and driving seem to be a problem here in the Permian Basin, in fact, 87% of those teens said their parent's text and drive on a day to day basis or three times a week. 73% of those teens can't seem to put the phone down cause they're busy snapping while driving and two of the reasons why is cause they're either bored or they just have a fear of missing out.

The Midland Odessa Transportation Alliance says they looked at distracted driving in the Odessa district from 2015 to 2017 and estimated around 1,500 crashes a year due to distracted driving.

"What's probably is more concerning to us is 75% of those crashes occur in Midland and Odessa," said James Beauchamp with the Midland Odessa Transportation Alliance. "That'd be okay since we're majority of the population but we find it's disproportionate. When you get behind the wheel of a car, you need to be 100% focused on what you're doing."

They report that 53% of crashes happened in Midland County while 24-25% happened in Ector County.

And while Safe 2 Save is still channeling people to stop distracted driving, the supporting community also hopes those numbers don't distract people from saving their own lives.

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