May 9 2012
Teenagers text a lot. A recent study shows that teens send about 60 text messages every day. But if they send or read a text while behind the wheel - it could be their last. A recent study by the National Safety Council shows that almost ⅓ of car accidents happen because the driver was using a cell phone.
A group of students from Oak Creek high school are addressing the dangers of texting and driving to keep themselves and their peers safe on the road. I spoke with two of the students, Alicia Compton and Didi Al-Zubeidi about how and why they’re spreading the message: “No text is worth dying over.”
They attended a Distracted Driving summit in Washington D.C. with a school group and were alarmed by what they learned. They heard first hand stories from families affected by car accidents due to texting and were inspired to organize a similar event for youth in Wisconsin.
They brought hundreds of students to a conference in Wisconsin Dells to share what they’d learned in D.C. They set up and obstacle course to show how difficult it is to stay in control while texting. Students had to send a short message while navigating hazards in the course. Not many stayed in the lines. They also screened a documentary called “The Last Text,” which features the families and victims of texting and driving (see link below).
Didi and Alicia want drivers to resist the urge and drive safely.They say the best way to deter texting and driving is to take away the temptation. Turn off your phone, put it in the glovebox or give it to a passenger. Some cell phone companies also provide ‘Drive Mode’ which lets the sender know the recipient is driving and that they’ll reply as soon as it’s safe.
See “The Last Text” here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DebhWD6ljZs
Distracted Driving Information: National Safety Council http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Distracted_Driving/Pages/distracted_driving.aspx