Great Hang Up: A lesson in texting dangers

2:37 PM, May 16, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida -- By now, we all know the dangers of texting and driving.  But the knowledge isn't keeping a lot of people from doing it--especially teenagers.

A new survey from AT&T found that 97% of teenagers know that texting and driving is dangerous, but 43% of them admit sending a text behind the wheel.  And it seems like they're not getting good lessons from their parents.  77% said adults tell kids not to text while driving--but adults do it themselves "all the time."

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the 100 deadliest days for teen drivers are between Memorial Day and Labor Day. 

On Wednesday, AT&T brought a texting while driving simulator to Tampa Preparatory School, to show teenagers the dangers of texting behind the wheel.  They sat behind the wheel of a real car, wearing a special headset while a driving scene played before them.  Instructors then asked the teens to text a message to a friend.  Most of them ended up running off the road, into a car, or over a pedestrian.

"They do terribly," said AT&T publican relations consultant Michele Money-Carson. "They laugh about it but you can also see in their faces that it's kind of a nervous laughter."

"When I did it, I killed somebody," said Tampa Prep 10th grader Alexandra Daly.  "You don't realize that it's so dangerous to text and drive."

Two years ago, AT&T launched it's "It Can Wait" anti-texting campaign.  You can learn more about it at the campaign's Facebook page.

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