California releases distracted driving fatality numbers

September 27, 2011 8:15:45 PM PDT
We are warned all the time not to text and drive and now, it is even clearer why. There are some new numbers are out on the risk of texting and driving. On Tuesday, state officials offered some hard numbers on this issue.

Transportation safety officials blame distracted driving for more than 600 deaths each year. About 10 years ago only 300 deaths per year were blamed on distractions, and then it was things like putting on your makeup or reading.

"Yelling at the kids in the backseat, dropping something, eating, putting on makeup, has been around forever, but what has really changed that is just in the last five to 10 years is the use of mobile devices," said Chris Cochran, the spokesperson from the California Office of Transportation Safety.

Officials say talking on the phone is bad enough, but texting takes your eyes off the road and hands off the wheel.