MIAMI (CBSMiami) — South Florida students learned an important lesson Thursday about the dangers of texting while driving.
As a result, hundreds of students at American Senior High School pledged not to text and drive.
“I think it’s amazing,” said 16-year-old Ivanna Corazo when asked how she felt taking the pledge among so many of her peers.
“Any text, video I wanna send or link or Instagram or anything like that can wait,” Dwayne T. Holloway said in agreement with Corazo.
Holloway learned, firsthand, in front of hundreds of his peers how quickly an accident can happen when texting behind the wheel. He was chosen to try the texting and driving simulator, and “as I’m up there I’m like I don’t wanna hit anything and I ended up hitting a bus.”
In addition to the simulator, students performed skits and watched a documentary highlighting lives taken by distracted drivers.
“The video was very touching and you can really impact someone’s life like that or take someone’s life,” Holloway said.
The It Can Wait Anti-Texting While Driving Campaign is aimed at inspiring students to either put the phone down when they’re behind the wheel, or speak up when they’re not the ones driving.
“Your voice can save a life, so don’t be afraid to say please don’t do that,” said AT&T Spokesperson Kelly Starling, who helped plan the event.
“We’ve actually done a poll with teens and they’ve said the majority of them that if they have a passenger in the car with them who asks them not to text and drive, due to that peer pressure they probably wouldn’t,” added Starling.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that texting while driving increases a risk of collision by 23 percent. Text messaging, despite nationwide strides to try to reduce the habit, remains a national epidemic which can result in injury or death.
More than 2.5 million people have made the pledge to not text and drive as part of the It Can Wait Campaign and you can actually sign the pledge online.