A mock automobile accident was set up at the Logan County High School Tuesday, May 16 for students leaving the school that afternoon to see. The example was to show young drivers the dangers of texting while driving. The mock accident was conducted by the Family Resource Center, Amanda Gossett – State Farm Insurance Agent, Russellville Police Department and Logan County EMS. Clay Bilyeu was kind enough to provide the car.
“We wanted to to show students the consequences of texting and driving, as well as drinking and driving and failing to wear a seat belt,” said Gossett.
According to statistics, 56 percent of teenagers admit to talking on their cell phones behind the wheel, while 13 percent admit to texting while driving. Teens themselves confirm that texting is their number one driving distraction. Additional statistics prove 11 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, talking to people in your vehicle, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment or navigation system—anything that takes your attention away from the task of safe driving.
Texting is the most alarming distraction, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
Teens can be the best messengers with their peers. They can speak up when they see a friend driving while distracted, to have their friends sign a pledge to never drive distracted, to become involved in a local campaign to stop texting and driving, and to share messages on social media that remind their friends, family, and neighbors not to make the deadly choice to drive distracted.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.