LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – Local and state organizations have teamed up with Aquinas High School to urge students not to text and drive.
AT&T, Triple-A (Wisconsin), and the Wisconsin State Patrol brought their campaign to Aquinas High School on Wednesday to inform teens the dangers of texting and driving, and why students should take the pledge not to text while driving.
According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving has causes more than 200,000 car crashes in America each year.
“When you pick up that phone in the car to read the text message, it really is like closing your eyes for five second,” AT&T Wisconsin Vice President of External Affairs Jim Jermain said.
The “It Can Wait” movement is working to inform teen drivers about the dangers of sending one simple text message. State Representatives are even stepping up to the cause.
“I think sometimes the temptation in the car is to just send a quick response. Maybe you’re at a stoplight or maybe you feel ‘I can do this quickly’, and it’s dangerous and nobody should be texting and driving,” State Rep. (D-La Crosse) Jill Billings said.
On Wednesday, some students tried a “Distracted Driving” simulator, to help them realize what kind of impact texting and driving has.
“The simulator does a great job of demonstrating to students how easy it is to get distracted and just kind of cross the center line or swerve into other traffic,” Jermain said.
Aquinas senior Lucas Brandt tried the simulator, and he said the toughest part about texting and driving is maintaining focus on the road.
“I know just how hard it can be to text and drive. I know the dangers of it and I think it’s probably a raising issue within my age group today,” Brandt said.
Brandt said he will take the pledge not to text and drive, and encourages others to do the same.
According to a connectsafely.org survey sponsored by AT&T, research shows:
· 78% of teen drivers say they won’t text and drive if friends tell them it is wrong
· 90% of teen drivers say they would stop texting and driving if a friend asked them to stop
· 93% of teen drivers say they would stop texting and driving if their parents ask them to stop
Over four million people have taken the pledge not to text and drive. If interested in taking the pledge not to text and drive, visit www.ItCanWait.com.
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