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September 18, 2013

OUR VIEW: Take the pledge to stop texting

Back in April, we asked, “What’s it going to take to make us stop texting and driving?”

Texting while driving is quickly becoming one of our country’s leading killers.

Let that sink in.

Texting while driving causes 1,600,000 accidents per year, according to the National Safety Council. A Harvard Center for Risk Analysis study found it results in 330,000 injuries per year.

If you didn’t flinch at those numbers, try this one: 11. That’s the number of teen deaths every day attributed to texting and driving, according to Institute for Highway Safety. In case you missed it, that’s 11 deaths every day. So, whatever day you read this, 11 teens will die. That’s 11 sons or daughters that won’t make it home from school, from practice or from the mall.

Eleven.

That’s an unnecessary number.

Here are some more numbers: People who text and drive are about six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated. Texting and driving is the same as having four beers and then getting behind the wheel.

Texting while driving makes you 23 times more likely to have an accident. At any given time across the country, 800,000 drivers are texting and driving.

So, what’s the solution to this national epidemic? Something on this large of a scale must be hard to stop, right?

No, actually it’s not. Here’s the solution: Stop texting and driving. The end.

Our mayor, Ted Franklin, knows it’s that easy, too. He has issued a proclamation designating Sept. 19 as “Drive 4 Pledges Day.” He’s calling for residents to take the pledge to never text and drive.

It’s part of AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign in Indiana and throughout the United States. The wireless provider is looking to educate the public about the dangers of texting while driving by encouraging consumers to take the personal pledge not to text while driving.

We echo their call to action.

Go to www.itcanwait.com to take the no-texting-while-driving pledge, and then share your promise with others via Twitter (#itcanwait) and Facebook.

It can wait.

No, really. It can wait.

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