Teens get lesson in danger of texting while driving

Print
Email
|

by CASEY NORTON

WFAA

Posted on September 13, 2010 at 5:58 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 14 at 7:23 PM

DALLAS — Distracted driving has deadly consequences.

Texting, talking on the phone, and updating your status was the cause of nearly 700 wrecks in North Texas last year; four of them were deadly.

And think about this: On average it takes five seconds just to type and send a short text message, like "OK" or "yes." If you're driving just 55 mph, your eyes are off the road for the length of a football field.

Your risk of having a wreck triples when texting and driving.

"I only text at the stop light; I only text when it's red," said Taylor Windham, who had her own ideas when it comes to texting and driving.

Allstate insurance put her to the test with one hand on her cell phone, the other on the steering wheel in a controlled test on a parking lot next to the American Airlines Center in downtown Dallas.

Two dozen teens went through the course, dodging cones and punching bags, while putting up with more than a few intentional distractions.

"I felt horrible when I hit one of the little blue dummies," said Edwin Moore. "I didn't see it or nothing."

Parents and mentors watched their kids roll through the course. They stopped short of saying "I told you so," but they made their point about texting and driving.

"I really wanted to see how it would affect her," said parent Lee Jarrell. "She's going to be doing the driving, and I am not always going to be there. I need to know she is going to be safe."

Most of the teens seemed to get the message, and they didn't need mom and dad to send a text. "I'm too scared for that," said teen driver Taylor Windham. "I don't have the hand-eye coordination to be doing all that."

Edwin Moore was similarly convinced. "I am definitely not going to text, but I'll see about the calling," he said. "I am probably not going to call, either."

E-mail cnorton@wfaa.com

Print
Email
|