Does your teen text and drive? Do his or her friends?
According to a survey from AT&T:
- 75 percent of teens surveyed say that texting while driving is "common" among their friends;
- Almost all teens (89 percent) expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less;
- And 77 percent of teens report seeing their parents text while driving.
Educators are starting to target distracted driving—including texting and driving—just like drinking and driving in their safety messages to local students.
The problem, they say, is that many students don't connect texting and driving as a dangerous combination.
"Texting and driving is illegal and I think our kids are aware of that," Trenton High School principal Michael Doyle said.
It Can Wait
A new campaign from AT&T is hoping to change that mentality and highlight the dangers of texting and driving. The It Can Wait program, which launched in September, encourages drivers to take the pledge, promising to not text and drive.
"The kids shouldn’t do it," Doyle said. "In no way, shape or form does Trenton High School support texting and driving. We want to make sure all of our kids are safe."
AT&T is also now offering a Drive-mode app which sends an automatic “I’m in the car driving” message to a user's top five contacts.
Resources for parents, schools and teens
- AT&T has a kit students can download and share with their schoolmates to start an anti-texting and driving campaign. There are also school-specific programs and resources. Their It Can Wait website also has videos and other downloads to teach teens about the dangers, as well as a texting and driving simulator.
- The nonprofit Traffic Improvement Association of Michigan has a program they've developed to teach students about distracted driving. The centerpiece is "Remember Ally," which includes posters and a moving video about a local teen who recently died in a distracted diving crash. For more information, please contact TIA's Executive Director, Jim Santilli, at 248-334-4971 or email@example.com.
- The national SADD website has lots of resources to help talk to teens about the dangers of distracted driving, including cell phone use behind the wheel.
- Detroit Area Honda Dealers, along with the Children's Hospital Foundation of Michigan, have just started a "Think Before You Text" campaign, and their website includes an online pledge to stop texting and driving.
Have you taken the pledge to stop texting and driving? Enter our Patch.com/AT&T contest and tell us why.