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Texts can wait while driving

We all know texting and driving is dangerous, we know it’s against the law in Illinois, and yet far too many of us continue to do it.

And people die as a result.

The Granite City Police and Madison County prosecutors say Mark S. Harris, 25, of St. Louis is one of those victims. He was struck by a pickup truck about 3 a.m. Sunday. Travis E. Crain, 23, of Madison, is charged with failure to report an accident involving personal injury or death, a Class 1 felony, and reckless homicide, a Class 3 felony.

If Crain is convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison on the failure to report charge alone. All because he took his eyes off the road.

People think they can do all sorts of things at the same time they are driving: text, talk on the phone, eat, drink, put on makeup, read emails, and on and on. But multitasking while driving greatly increases the likelihood of an accident.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver distraction caused 18 percent of fatal crashes in 2012, with 3,328 people killed. Crashes from distracted driving also resulted in 421,000 people injured.

The people responsible for these tragedies no doubt wish they had a chance to do it over, but life often doesn’t work that way. Some choices we make and the consequences that follow can’t be undone.

May this sad story remind all of us to put down the phone while we’re driving.