‘Buckle Up, Phone Down’ Day highlights dangers of distracted driving

Let's admit it. We're all guilty of looking at our phones while driving from time to time.

But today, the Missouri Department of Transportation is challenging you to put it down. It's all part of a nationwide push for safe driving.

MoDOT is issuing the challenge for passengers and drivers to buckle up when they get into their vehicles and for drivers to put their cellphones down. So no talking and texting unless it is hands free.

In the state of Missouri right now, there is a no texting law for drivers under 21. October 20th is designated as "Buckle Up Phone Down" so the challenge is
for all drivers of all ages to meet the challenge.

Statistics show that beginning in 2015, crashes involving cell phones increased by 17%.

Statistics also show that when a person who is driving is also texting, they are 23 times more likely to be involved in a serious crash.

Mayor Sly James expressed his support for the initiative.

"We've gotten used to this idea that when that phone bings or dings or burps or twerps, that it requires an immediate response," James said. "So we need to take control of our machines and our gadgets, and start looking at things that make a lot more sense like driving safely."

You can find out more about the Buckle Up Phone Down initiative here.