Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal even at a red light

1 out of every 4 car accidents is from texting and driving.

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)-Texting while driving is a growing trend, and it’s dangerous to you and anyone near you on the road.

The National Safety Council reports that cell phone use while driving leads to 1.6 million crashes each year. An accident can happen no matter the situation.

“I was actually rear ended by a driver that was texting on the Mass Pike,” said Sam Konieczny of Cummington. “It was stop and go traffic like 2 miles and hour, and traffic was backed up and low and behold, boom. It just takes a second.”

Texting while driving is illegal in Massachusetts and that’s still the case even if you’re stopped at a red light, or stop sign.

“You’re not paying attention to the lights and you’re not paying attention to those around you, and all of a sudden someone runs across the street, not paying attention. Then what happens, you’re going to be responsible for hitting them,” said Martha Keene of Greenfield.

Greenfield Police Sgt. Todd Dodge told 22News, looking at your cellphone at a red light increases the risk of something going wrong.

“If your main focus is this text message, you could take your foot off the brake, the car moves under those circumstances,” said Sgt. Dodge. “There’s a lot of stuff going on around you, other cars moving about. It causes a variety of problems.”

In Massachusetts, it’s $100 for a first offense of texting and driving, $250 for the second time, and $500 for every time after. Bus drivers can be fined $500 for using a cell phone while driving.

Massachusetts is one of 46 states where texting and driving is illegal.