Spike in deadly accidents raising concerns about distracted driving

- A growing number of deadly accidents involving motorists and pedestrians in the D.C. area are raising the question: Is distracted driving leading to the spike?

Officers in Montgomery County have been seeing a significant climb in serious hit-and-runs as well as fatal pedestrian accidents.

The most recent deadly crash happened Wednesday morning after a motorcyclist collided with a Ride On bus near the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

A study shows that drivers who are texting take their eyes off the road an average of five seconds. If you are driving at 55 miles per hour in that amount of time, it means you are driving the length of a football field while distracted.

“We see it every day, all day long, driving around in a fully-marked police car and people are buried in their phones,” said Montgomery County Police Officer Sean Redican.

FOX 5 hit the streets in search of distracted drivers as well as pedestrians who were disobeying traffic signals or jaywalking.

What we saw probably won’t surprise many. We saw people texting, holding their cellphone to their ear, to their mouth and even wearing headphones in both ears. We even witnessed a driver eating cereal out of a bowl.

When we pointed out the obvious to these violators, some of them were oblivious to the law.

In Virginia, there is no handheld ban on cellphones, but you cannot texting and driving. But in D.C. and Maryland, you must be completely hands-free -- even at a stop sign or a red light.

“If the car is in motion, regardless of what you are doing with your phone, you cannot have a cell phone in your hand if the car is moving,” said Officer Redican.

Since we are officially back on standard time, it is getting darker earlier in the day and police are asking drivers to be extra vigilant out on the roads.

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