Do you own a smart phone?
Do you drive a car or truck?
Do you have a teen living at your home?
If you answered “yes” to least two of the three questions, then this article is for you.
It is Time to Get Involved
Everyone knows that texting and driving don’t mix. The research is clear, the evidence profound. But everyone believes it is the other person that is dangerous, not themselves. Everyone is wrong; anyone, and everyone, who texts while driving is a danger and a risk to all of us. If you text and drive, it is 23 times more likely you will be in a crash. If you have a teenager living at home who is driving and sends a text message, the risk is even greater. For drivers ages 15-19 involved in fatal crashes, 21 percent of the distracted drivers were distracted by the use of cell phones.  It is a problem and it is growing. The state of Washington just released its first study examining drivers’ use of electronic devices and found that nearly 45% of the distracted drivers were texting.
There is an easy cure to this epidemic—put the phone down and drive. Yet, as this contagion continues to spread, there is more that can, and must, be done. It is no longer enough that we put the phone down and drive; it is crucial that we speak up and share the message—with our family, our friends, and our community. It is time for parents to be great role models and not text while driving with children in the car—or ever while driving. It is time for parents to talk with their teens about the dangers of texting and driving, and taking charge of what is and is not allowed while driving. It is time for teens to speak up and share the message with their friends, and their parents.
When someone speaks up, it makes a difference. A recent survey found that:
- 78% of teen drivers say they’re likely not to text and drive if friends tell them it’s wrong or stupid.
- 90% say they’d stop if a friend in the car asked them to.
- 93% would stop if a parent in the car asked them to.
- 44% say that they would be thankful if a passenger complained about their texting while driving. 
It Can Wait
Now is the perfect time for everyone to share the message. September 19th is the Drive 4 Pledges Day where advocates will be promoting the It Can Wait campaign and asking people everywhere to make a commitment to never text and drive again. Four national wireless service providers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile, are spearheading the It Can Wait campaign and message: Don’t text and drive; it can wait.
The 19th will be a day of intense activity including: 2,000 Drive 4 Pledge activities nationwide; a national Teen Distracted Driving summit in Washington D.C. held by the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS); nationwide advertising about the It Can Wait campaign; messages displayed on the Goodyear Blimps; and, sporting teams promoting the call to action.
Take the Pledge!
What can you do? Get involved! Take the Pledge to never text and drive! Spread the word with your family and friends. Download the information and resources from the It Can Wait website and share it with your local media, schools and businesses.
What can you do? It’s time to be a participant, not an observer. It is time to take action. September 19th is a day for everyone to get involved and take the pledge to never text and drive. September 19th is a day for you to make a difference. It is time to speak up, put the phone down, and drive.
What are you going to do on the 19th?
 Nearly half of State’s distracted drivers are texting. September 9, 2013, University of Washington, Health Sciences. Obtained from: