Texting Behind the Wheel Poses Risks - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Texting Behind the Wheel Poses Risks

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If you text and drive, the results could be deadly. But many people think it can't happen to them.

The average text message takes your eyes off the road for five seconds.

"So if you're going 55 miles per hour, that's the entire length of a football field. So, if someone was driving down the highway and you said, 'Close your eyes for five seconds,' they'd say, 'You're crazy. Why would I do that?' But that's what you're doing when you take your eyes off the road to look at a very quick text," says Terry Weaver of the North Dakota Safety Council.

A spokesperson for AT&T says texting and driving plays a role in more than 100,000 accidents every year often causing injuries or death. And that's why the company is asking customers to take the pledge to never text and drive.

"My commute is actually very short, which is nice. It's seven to 10 minutes tops," says retail sales manager Kristin Prebarich. "But there is no text message that I will ever receive or need to send in that seven to 10 minutes that is more important than my life."

Several apps help deter drivers from texting.
Android and Blackberry users can download the AT&T Drive Mode app for free if it's not already installed on their phone. The app automatically silences phone calls and message alerts when the car is in motion.

"As soon as your vehicle starts moving at 20-miles per hour or more, it'll turn on for you. It'll send a free response to whoever is texting you or calling you, letting them know you are busy and you will get back to them as soon as you can," says Prebarich.

But one high school student says it's as easy as putting the technology behind her.

"I learned to force myself to throw my phone in the car in the back seat, so I wouldn't have to text and drive," says SADD member Sheilan Hamasoor.

Because no  matter how important the message is. Your life is worth the wait.

Seventy-five percent of teens say texting and driving is common among their friends. To learn more about the app or to take the pledge visit http://www.itcanwait.com/

 

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