A woman who was struck and killed by a train Monday in Albertville, Alabama, may have been on her cell phone at the time.
While cell phones can be an easy way to communicate, they can also be a hazard, especially on the highway.
You see them all the time. Drivers taking calls while taking the wheel. Multi-tasking has become a way of life for many Americans, but authorities say this growing trend is causing more hazards on the roadway.
Captain Antonio Gonzalez, of the Houston County Sheriff’s Office says, “the truck was in the left hand turn lane and the two vehicles ahead of me had the right of way, the truck though made it's left had turn and when I saw the driver he was on his cell phone.”
Authorities say focusing on a conversation can take your focus off the road. That's when accidents can happen.
Officer Thomas Davis of the Dothan Police says, “you might have to stop steer to the left or to the right to avoid something, if you’re talking on your cell phone you're not going to be able to do that because number one you have one hand on the phone and one hand on the wheel so you won't be able to control that vehicle like you should.”
Officials say it's best to pull off the road for a phone conversation, but if you can't, try to use a hands free device. Driving defensively is key.
“You have to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Defensive driving is a must. People that get on their cell phones either to talk or to text your attention is going to be taking away from the driving issue,” says Gonzalez.
Authorities say a good way to know if you're attention is leaving the road is to test yourself. Do you remember what you saw from point A to point B while on the phone? If not, then you're driving dangerously.
Currently Alabama has no laws prohibiting you from talking on the phone and driving, but hand-held use has been banned in 5-states.