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Texting and driving, from the perspective of a tow-truck driver

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First, this past Wednesday August 26, 2020 a 22 year old tow truck driver lost his life. Reports state that the young tow truck driver who was not wearing a seat belt was also texting at the time of the accident. Few details are available at this time. If someone has access to the news story please fill in the gaps.


The Company Aus-Tex Towing & Recovery, LLC released this statement on their FB Page.


We hear of tow truck operator fatalities way too often.
Last night we lost one of our own. Please say a prayer for our driver, his family, and his co-workers.
Don’t take this life for granted!


Link to VIDEO: https://www.kake.com/clip/15125904/more-distracted-driving-crashes


(KAKE) - Besides first responders, there's another group of people who see crashes from distracted driving first-hand: tow truck drivers.


KIDD's Tow Truck driver Ryan Ritthaler says that the crashes are becoming a daily occurrence.


"Honestly, it's scary," he admits.  "Everyone's on their phone now days it's just kind of the way of life. Unfortunately they don't get to see the side of it we see."


Ritthaler says that approximately 50-60% of the crashes he sees are related to cell phone usage. 

Ten years ago, he adds, that number was about 20%. 


He added that many tow truck drivers are hit by distracted drivers while on the road, and that he'd like to see Kansas transition to a "hands-free" state: a state that prohibits driving while using a hand-held cellphone.


Last year, KAKE News sat in on high school students who tried testing their texting and driving skills on a simulator. The results were not pretty.


According to the Kansas Department of Transportation, in 2018, teenagers from 14 to 19 years old accounted for more crashes than any other age group.


That same year, six Kansans died with their phones in their hands, a sight that Ryan and his co-workers are unfortunately used to.


"It's more of a full speed ax instead of a slower-paced ax," Ritthaler said.


There is a way to stop the temptation to pick up the phone. Apps like Life Saver lock your phone while the car is in motion. Another app, called Down for the Count, lets you earn rewards for safe driving. Both of these are high-tech solutions to a deadly problem.


RESOURCE LINK with video



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