Do you text when you drive? Sure, you can stay in constant contact with your friends, instantly “like” a picture on Facebook, or tweet what you just passed on the road, but it’s not worth it? More than 100,000 car crashes every year involve drivers who are texting. It can wait.
Over 75 percent of teens say texting and driving is common among their friends. This habit is widespread and deadly. AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign encourages teens to put down the phone when driving and focus on the road. Today, September 19, is the Drive 4 Pledges Day. Americans around the country are encouraged to sign a pledge that they will not drive and text. Texting isn’t the only distraction while driving.
In 2011, accidents resulting from drivers texting, calling, eating, reading maps, using navigation systems, and performing other distracting activities, resulted in 3,331 deaths and an additional 387,000 injuries. For teen drivers, over 20 percent of fatal crashes involved a distracted driver on a cellphone. Need a reason to sign the pledge? Watch these videos of family members telling stories of how they lost loved ones in car accidents involving distracted drivers.
A driver who sends a text will be distracted for five seconds. Anything can happen in five seconds. Play this game to see just how dangerous it is to text and drive. In a survey of teen drivers, 97 percent of teens say texting while driving is dangerous, and yet 43 percent admit they do it. It’s time this changes. Become an advocate for the cause and pledge that you will not text and drive. This is a public health and safety epidemic; no text is worth the risk. It’s not worth it. Put the phone down. It can wait.