Five cheerleaders were killed when the driver was distracted by texting, and all of them had just graduated from high school
St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) August 12, 2009
Recent surveys show that 46% percent of 16 and 17-year olds say they send and receive text messages while driving. American Automobile Club of America studies show that the risk of a car accident increases by 50% for people who text and drive.
Illinois is the latest state to prohibit text messaging while driving. Governor Pat Quinn signed the law on Thursday, August 6, to curb distracting behavior behind the wheel, which brings the total of states banning the practice to 19. Both state and federal governments, parents, and organizations that promote safety for teens are realizing that teens, texting and driving can be a deadly combination.
Denise Pellow, founder of KidsBeSafeOnline, LLC, supports efforts to increase awareness of this very dangerous practice. "Our goal is to educate and protect children from the dangers of the Internet and create a dialog between parents and children for learning safe communications," she says. "We include texting and driving as a behavior that teens need to know cannot only be dangerous for themselves, but also for innocent people who can be killed or harmed by this behavior." Pellow recently published a book, The Five Dangerous Trends Concerning Kids, Technology and the Internet.
The federal government is getting in the act too. Transportation secretary Ray LaHood has announced plans to convene a national summit to study distracted driving, including texting. The action comes on the heels of several high profile tragedies in which public transportation operators sent text message just before a fatal crash. In one such incident in California, 25 people were killed and 135 injured when a train operator was texting at the time of the accident; and in Boston, 62 people were injured when the trolley operator missed a stop sign while texting.
Pellow also points to numerous tragedies where high school students were killed, or killed someone else because of texting. "Five cheerleaders were killed when the driver was distracted by texting, and all of them had just graduated from high school," she says. Two teenagers drowned when a car carrying seven teens went off the road and into a river. The driver was texting on her cell phone.
"We will work with parents, teens, schools, government entities, anyone who is interested in safety, to support initiatives and educate teens about the proper times to text and when it can be a deadly message."
KidsBeSafeOnline, LLC (http://www.kidsbesafeonline.com) provides cutting edge information on the trends in technology that affect children and teens. The company also provides educational materials, tools and resources for parents and educators.