Number of Cell Phone-Driving Accidents Jumps in South Dakota

August 13, 2009

Figures show the number of South Dakota accidents that authorities blame on drivers distracted by cell phone use has jumped 60 percent in the four years since the state Office of Highway Safety began collecting such information.

The number in 2004 was 82. Last year, it was 138.

The numbers are in line with the accidents and fatalities nationwide that are linked to distracted driving. Some studies show drivers sending text messages can be as dangerous as drunken drivers.

Attempts to limit drivers’ cell phone use have failed in recent sessions of the Legislature.

State Rep. Shantel Krebs, who chairs the House Transportation Committee, says any new ban attempt probably would come from a lobbying group.

Information from: Argus Leader,

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