No text is worth your life. Whatever it is, it can wait if you’re behind the wheel.
AT&T is trying to drive that message home with a nationwide campaign aimed at high-schoolers. Company representatives made a stop at Central York High School earlier this month, giving the students there a hands-on lesson that showed them just how dangerous the practice is.
They sat in a simulator — wearing a visor displaying real-life driving scenarios such as stop lights and cars changing lanes — and were asked to try to text and obey traffic laws at the same time.
The results were predictable. Almost every student failed.
“I thought it would be easy to send a text … and I hit a pedestrian,” said Bryan Briggs, a 15-year-old sophomore.
Amber Wolf, 16, was sending a text of “Hey, what’s up?” in the simulator when she crashed into a hill. She said she knows now how tough it is to text and drive at the same time.
“I’m not going to text,” Amber vowed.
That’s just what AT&T wants to hear.
More than 100,000 accidents a year involve someone texting, said AT&T spokeswoman Brandy Bell-Truskey.
The goal is to eventually have texting and driving be given the same rigorous, preventative measures as drinking and driving, she said.
“We want it to have the same stigma,” Bell-Truskey added.
We wish them luck, but the company has its work cut out.
Thirty-one percent of Americans confessed to texting or emailing while driving, higher than drivers in any other country except Portugal, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.
Texting while driving is now illegal in Pennsylvania, but some people still aren’t getting the message, especially around here. An analysis by AAA Mid-Atlantic ranked York County sixth in Pennsylvania for the number of traffic citations issued since the law took effect a year ago.
The York Dispatch