April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Officials say the issue is contributing to more deaths on roadways.

One out of four crashes in Minnesota involves distracted driving, according to Blue Earth County Attorney Pat McDermott.

Blue Earth County Attorney Pat McDermott

“It really doesn’t take much. If you stop and think about it, to put things into perspective, if an individual would reach down to the heat control or the glove bock or look at their phone for five seconds or less, it doesn’t take long, if you’re driving 55 miles per hour down the road and you do that, you’ve gone the length of a football field without seeing what’s in front of you.”

The National Safety Council reports motor vehicle fatalities are up 6-percent from 2015.

“From a national basis in many areas, people feel that it is unreported or under reported. Because if you do crash your vehicle, people don’t want to admit, well this is what I was doing.”

McDermott is urging residents to take a step back and pay attention and drive.

“We get so caught up in everything that we’re doing that we don’t realize sometimes what we’re doing. Because we’re constantly on our phones, we’re constantly in communication and whatnot.”

More than 40-thousand people were killed on U.S. roadways in 2017.