By: Peggy Moore
WFLA cares about all of our members and recently headlines have gravitated towards a very serious issue for young people; texting and driving. One of our Member Service Representatives, Peggy, decided to investigate.
In July 2010 Jennifer Flockhart, 17, was texting while driving and lost control of her vehicle in Iowa. In June 2011 Aaron Deveau, 17, crossed the center line while texting and driving and hit another car head on in Massachusetts. In January 2012 Taylor Sauer, 18, rear-ended a semi trailer on the freeway in Idaho while texting and driving. In all three accidents a life was lost.
The common denominators in all three accidents was texting while driving AND the age of the driver. “Eleven percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.”
According to research done by the U.S. Department of Transportation, “Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent – at 55 mph – of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.” According to www.iowainjured.com, Car and Driver magazine performed an experiment in 2009, finding that sending a text adds 70 feet to stopping distance.
Distracted driving accounts for thousands of accidents each year and texting while driving has increased these fatalities dramatically over the past few years, especially among teenagers. Thirty-nine states now have laws that prohibit texting while driving.
The next time you reach for your phone while you are driving, think about Jennifer Flockhart and her family’s heartache. Or Aaron Deveau who is now in jail for vehicular homicide after he killed a passenger in the car he struck when he crossed the center line while texting and driving.
And ask yourself these questions: Am I willing to pay the ultimate price for whatever’s on my phone? Is this distraction really worth risking my or someone else’s life?
Remember, texting and driving is preventable. Take the time today to say you will NEVER text and drive again. Pledge to not text and drive at: http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-involved/take-the-pledge.html.
My life is worth more than a text message. Is yours?
To view the online article about Jennifer Flockhart, visit: http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/6298216-iowa-teen-was-texting-before-fatal-crash
To view the online article about Aaron Deveau, visit: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/jun/07/business/la-fi-tn-texting-and-driving-teen-in-jail-20120607
To view the online article about Taylor Sauer, visit: http://www.ktvb.com/news/local/Parents-of-Caldwell-teen-killed-while-texting-driving-appear-on-Today-Show-141434693.html
Other statistics and information can be found at: