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      You can help lower fatal crash statistics

      The Quincy Fire Department responded to 50 percent more car crashes with injuries last year than in 2011. If a patient is entrapped, firefighters must use the "jaws of life" to cut through the car, to rescue he/she.

      The Quincy Fire Department responded to 50 percent more car crashes with injuries last year than in 2011.

      The department says you can help lower that number this year by driving safely.

      "It's a very scary thing to be involved in an accident, even just the fender benders that we see all the time," Quincy Fire Department public education team member Michael Dade said. "But a situation like this, when someone is entrapped and they can't get out of the vehicle, sometimes the tension can be really, really high. Nobody think it's going to happen to them."

      QFD wants you to think again. The state of Illinois already has had 150 fatal car crashes this year (see Kristen respond to a mock entrapment call, here).

      The trend behind many of the accidents? The Quincy Fire Department says, distracted driving.

      "Cell phones, text messaging, things like that are really starting to cause bigger problems," Quincy Fire Department firefighter Jerry Mast said. "Get rid of the distractions before you start. Shut the cell phones off, keep the radios at a level you can hear what's going on around you and just pay attention to what you're doing."

      "We want people to take an extra second at the intersection before they turn onto another street," Quincy firefighter Jerry Smith said. "Just take a second look and make sure nothing else is coming."

      That second could spare you from getting pulled out of a wreck like this.

      "The situation is really, really tense," Dade said. "When someone's inside and they can hear all that noise going on and all that banging, we usually have to put someone in the vehicle with them to talk them through the process and help calm them down."

      When it comes to your phone and getting behind the wheel, Just Let It Ring.

      You can take the pledge to stop distracted driving and Just Let It Ring by clicking, here.