Think twice

Published 6:00 pm Monday, September 3, 2012

It’s one of those universal truths that should be considered a “no-brainer” — texting while driving leads to traffic accidents and potential fatalities.
Nationwide, more than 100,000 crashes a year are linked to distracted drivers. Statistics from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute indicate that drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be in a crash.
The statistics can be worse when it comes to teens — two in five admit to texting while driving.
Tracy O’Carroll knows all too well how texting can end in tragedy. Her daughter, Sarah Edwards, died in a traffic accident while responding to a text in January 2011. The 18-year-old senior at Southside High School was only months away from graduation.
In response to the problem of distracted driving, AT&T launched “It Can Wait,” a nationwide campaign designed to raise awareness of the dangers of texting while driving. On Sept. 19, teens are being asked to sign the “no text on board pledge.” There is even an app for iPhones and Androids called DriveMode that disables text notifications and sends an auto-response when a text is received.
Until laws are passed banning the practice, we should all make a commitment to end texting while driving. As the AT&T campaign says, it CAN wait.