Alleged text messager crashes into building in Chicago

Police in Chicago said that a 2001 Jeep wagon collided with a small car as a result of alleged texting, and the mangled cars then went into a building, according to a police statement.

Jessica Flanagan, 25, was allegedly driving the Jeep when it collided with a parked Toyota Yaris, Shakespeare District Captain Marc Buslik told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Police told the news provider that the two cars then traveled into construction in progress, reportedly mangling a parking meter in the process.

Flanagan was cited for failing to maintain her lane and using a cell phone, the news provider reported, after she allegedly told officers she had been texting and reportedly not watching the road.

She may not be the only driver who underestimates the effects of distractions on driving ability, according to a study in the Journal of Safety Research.

Researchers found that drivers didn’t distinguish between activities with or without distractions, although they performed markedly worse.

The National Safety Council estimates that cell phone use leads to up to 636,000 car crashes annually, causing more than $40 billion in damage.

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