Undercover: Texting While Driving Rampant

As an automotive journalist, I rarely get to use hidden cameras or go on undercover stings for stories like you see on “60 Minutes” and other TV news programs. But the trend of texting while driving has reached such a pervasive level over the past few years that I needed to expose just how bad it is on an ordinary commute.

In the video above, I document my morning commute into work on the busy Kennedy Expressway in Chicago. With a few hidden cameras and a lot of blurring of faces by our multimedia team, it’s easy to see not only how prevalent texting truly is but also how much some of these people are concentrating on their smartphones while behind the wheel.

This may seem like my own little crusade because I find myself surrounded by texters while driving every day, but distracted driving is at the forefront of automotive safety discussion among automakers and the federal government.

Let us know if you think texting while driving is a significant problem where you drive or if this is a problem that is being blown out of proportion.

What To Do If You See a Distracted Driver
New App Keeps Tabs on Texting Drivers
More Safety News

By David Thomas | November 6, 2012 | Comments (7)


Anonymous Guy

There is no need to blur faces or license plates. These people are out on the public roads and do not deserve privacy or anonymity. I have a 20 mile commute to work and back every day and I see numerous people texting while they drive. They think nobody will know because they are holding their phone in their lap. Although, it's easy to tell because they are staring at their crotch with one hand on the wheel and weaving all over the road. Something needs to be done to prevent texting while driving. Now.

Stephen V.

" not deserve privacy or anonymity."
Written by 'Anonymous Guy' no less. How ironic.

anonymous guy

Where's the irony? I'm not operating a vehicle on a public roadway and texting at the same time. I'm not endangering anyone.

The fact that I use the moniker Anonymous Guy is not ironic.


THANK YOU, We need more awareness of this problem. That's Journalism!


do not mis-judge that any body who holds telephone are texting. They might just be trying to make a call - looking for a contact.

Still that is not safe. So, like in Maryland, using telephone (either text or call) during driving should be completely banned in any State and on Federal Highways.

I recently drove from Tacoma, WA to Seattle, WA and each leg of the trip I encountered one or more serious texters in the fast lane. I could remember their car and license until I got off the road but then what?? Where to post it? What to do with it? I have discovered that for some reason they are often in the fast lane which is good because they were both drifting to the left (possibly because they were right handed texting and the left arm relaxed and weighted on the wheel). In Washington it is illegal to even use your phone without a hands free. I did not have mine with me and did not call anyone but someone told me it was ok to call 911 and ask for the non emergent line. What we really need is a was to post that would go to their driving record.


My friend rides a bus to work and sees about every 10th driver texting along Cermak Rd.from Ridgeland to Yorktown Mall & a few others drive right in front of the bus not thinking a large object takes longer to stop. Idiots all!!!!

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