Teens, Driving and Texting: The Dangers They Need to Know

Distracted driving kills.  Whether it is drinking and driving or texting and driving, if you are not driving and paying attention to the road and your car, you are not only endangering yourself, you are a danger to others on the road.

AT&T has been committed to bring awareness and helping prevent distracted driving.

Below is a link to a video that AT&T shot last week during a teen safety fair in Washington D.C., sponsored by a DC TV station and the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) — a network of national associations and federal agencies focused on youth safety and health. (You may recall, last May AT&T announced a $1 million commitment in the fight against texting and driving. That commitment involves a contribution to NOYS to develop and train student ambassadors on anti-texting-while-driving education. The students then host summits on the topic within their schools and hometowns throughout the school year.)

As part of the D.C. teen safety fair, AT&T had a TWD Simulator on site to give teens a first-hand experience at just how much of a distraction texting and driving can be.  As you’ll see from the video, the simulator is a full-sized car. Kids get in the simulator, put on goggles and start driving, using a heads-up street display in their goggles. They then send a text message and the inevitable result is the kid crashes into a car or a pedestrian.

Link to TWD Simulator:  http://silo.mediasilo.com/weblink/FBF9900EF2686B78BA344B8D06D55ECC/22455/

Background on our “Txting While Driving … It Can Wait” campaign:

While distracted driving is an issue for all motorists, teenagers are particularly at risk.  Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and the proliferation of distracted driving among teens is a huge challenge.

That’s why AT&T”s “Txting…It Can Wait” public awareness campaign is especially focused on educating teens about the risks of texting while driving and spreading the message that text messages can wait.  Not even red lights, professionals say, signal a “safe” time to text.

As part of its campaign, AT&T has developed a powerful documentary called “The Last Text” that examines the real world consequences of texting and driving.  Each of the eight individuals in the video — whose lives have been impacted tragically by texting while driving — volunteered their stories to help educate Americans — particularly youth — on the risks of texting behind the wheel.  The documentary can be viewed online on the AT&T “It Can Wait” website and on the AT&T YouTube page.

Texting is so dangerous because it takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds.  At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field completely blind.  Studies show a driver’s reaction time is doubled when reading or sending a text, and that motorists sending a text while driving are 23 more times likely to be in a crash.

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