Channel 3 along with the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association and Trantolo & Trantolo asked students at Conventry High School to take the I-Promise pledge during a safety presentation at the school.
I-Promise is an educational campaign to warn Connecticut drivers of all ages of the dangers of driving while distracted and change the way they think and act in a car.
40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. That being said, it is important to remind teenage drivers the importance of not driving while distracted. This not only includes talking on cell phones, but texting, eating, reading, grooming, using a navigation system or adjusting the radio, CD player or MP3 player. But because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of the length of a football field driven at 55 mph.
The I-Promise campaign stresses the importance of not driving while distracted, and asks students to make a promise not to drive distracted, not to text while driving, keep hands on the wheel and to keep eyes on the road. Students are reminded not to sign the I-Promise pledge just because their friends are doing it, but because they realize the dangers of distracted driving and that they can put the phone down while driving and not touch it.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration the proportion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of fatal crashes has been on a significant increase since 2004.
A common response when asked why did you look at the message is "because it may have been an emergency", take a minute and think over the hundreds, maybe thousands of texts you have either sent or received and how many of them are actually life and death emergencies? Even if was a true emergency couldn't it wait until you arrived at your destination to read it?
As a reminder to drivers, place a picture of a loved one on the dashboard and every time you get behind the wheel take a second to think of how that person would feel if you were dead because you answered a text message.
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