Sending one quick text message isn't a big deal, right? Until it costs you your life. Or takes away someone else's. This can happen in the blink of an eye…or a click of the send button.
"It only takes half a second to be distracted, to be in an accident," said one Pine Belt resident.
Texting while driving makes a crash up to 23 times more likely. It is the same as driving blind for five seconds and is six times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving. Despite these statistics, many locals admitted to using their cell phones while behind the wheel.
"I do sometimes and I know I shouldn't," said one Hattiesburg resident.
In a WDAM survey, out of 100 Pine Belt residents, 13% admitted to texting and driving. 51% said they did it occasionally and 36% said they never text and drive.
Mississippi is one of six states where texting and driving is still legal, although novice drivers and bus drivers are banned from doing so. Of those asked, residents thought that texting while driving should be banned in the state.
"I just think it should be illegal," said one resident.