A national report estimates that one out of four wrecks involve cell phone use. Meanwhile, Joplin police say say their numbers are a little lower - seeing inattention playing a role in about 20% of crashes in 2012.
There's also the financial impact - in Joplin a total of $35 million last year. Eliminating 20 percent of that would add up quickly. Joplin Police Sgt. Rusty Rives said, "If you get injured in your accident, there's an economic loss built into that all the way from fuel consumption to what money you spend at Walmart. So there's a whole lot of things that go into that that people don't stop and think about. "
Officers say the statistics are just one more reminder that it's a good idea to put down the phone while driving... and to watch out for other drivers who might be distracted by their phones.