Wednesday letters: Tell teen drivers texting can wait

September 11, 2013 

20101020 Texting driving

BAUSMITH — MCT

— Just recently, our children experienced the excitement that comes with beginning a new school year. The back-to-school season brims with opportunity: new friends, clothes and school supplies, as well as many new experiences. One of the most anticipated experiences is driving to school for the first time — which often causes anxiety for parents. Cautioning your teen driver about roadway safety is crucial.

It’s more important than ever that we educate our young students about safe driving.

Teen drivers are at the greatest risk due to inexperience. In fact, young drivers are four times more likely to get in car accidents than adults. Add to this the fact that almost 50 percent of young drivers admit to sending text messages and emails while behind the wheel, and it’s a recipe for disaster.

Distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident. In 4.6 seconds, the average amount of time it takes to send a text, a car going 55 miles per hour travels the length of a football field.

So start the new school year off right and have your child read and sign the It Can Wait pledge, a national campaign supported by several large wireless carriers asking drivers to abstain from using distracting technology while driving. The most important lesson we need to teach our teens and all drivers about texting and driving is simply that it can wait. Ending the epidemic of distracted driving starts with each one of us.

Steven Bishop

Columbia

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