Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions facing drivers today. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, driver distraction contributes to 25-percent of all police reported crashes. A recent Allstate Foundation study found that 49-percent of driving teens admit being distracted by texting and instant messaging while driving.
On Monday, March 28, students from throughout Sacramento County signed pledge cards in which they promised to not text and drive. By signing the pledge card, the students can begin conversations at home about the dangers of distracted driving and remind friends and family members that no text, email or instant message is worth taking a life.
The event was held at El Camino Fundamental High School, in the San Juan Unified School District. Students signed pledge cards, added their thumb prints to a large banner, and passed out "thumb bands" to each person who took a pledge to serve as a reminder.
As part of this effort, five Sacramento County area high schools will implement student-led projects designed to raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving, and other related traffic safety issues. The projects, sponsored by the Friday Night Live (FNL) program, will include assemblies, slogan campaigns, and poster contests. Similar "X" the "TXT" events have taken place, or are being planned, at the following campuses and districts:
- Center High School (Center Joint Unified): March 24-25
- Grant High School (Twin Rivers Unified): March 25
- El Camino Fundamental High School (San Juan Unified): March 31 & April 1
- Rio Cazadero High School (Elk Grove Unified): March 31 & April 1
- Luther Burbank High School (Sacramento City Unified): April 1
Some distracted driving facts provided by the Allstate Foundation:
- Car crashes are the number-one killer of teens.
- On average, car crashes kill 11 teens per day.
- Just reaching for a phone in a car increases your risk of a crash by nine times.
- Texting takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds. At 55 miles-per-hour, that is like driving the length of a football field—completely blind.
According to the Allstate Foundation, more than 80,000 people have already pledged to not text while driving.
The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation. The Allstate Foundation strives to make our communities and our nation a better and safer place to live through partnerships with non-profit organizations promoting "safe and vital communities," "tolerance, inclusion, and diversity" and "economic empowerment." Teen safe driving and building financial independence for domestic violence survivors have been priority issues for the Foundation since 2005.
Friday Night Live
The Friday Night Live (FNL) program is designed to build leadership skills, provide opportunities for community service, and prevent alcohol and drug use among teenagers. School chapters are the core of the program. Chapter activities are designed to encourage positive peer influence and provide opportunities for leadership and community service. Staff members of SCOE's Prevention & Student Services (PASS) department provide support for FNL chapters; community service opportunities; Countywide Youth Council; leadership conferences; advisor training and support; and countywide and regional special events.