The Duncan Banner

September 20, 2013

DHS students pledge not to text and drive

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — Duncan High School students are taking the pledge to not text and drive, and they’re encouraging their peers to follow suit.

On Thursday, the high school’s leadership group gave a presentation on the dangers of texting and driving. The program began with statistics involving distracted drivers and drivers who text and drive.

Chris Totty, a DHS senior, provided many of the statistics, including this face — 40 out of 1,000 high schoolers may not make it to the age of 20 because of inattention while driving. Totty wasn’t the only student providing the statistics.

Taylor Barrick’s focus went beyond just the introduction of more statistics. Barrick, who is DHS FFA chapter president and a quality speaker, focused on her peers not becoming statistics as a result of texting and driving.

“A texting driver is 23 percent more likely to be in a car accident,” Barrick said. “Do you want to go through high school as the one who caused that terrible wreck? A couple of seconds of joy and it causes you a lifetime of pain. Make the decision: Don’t text and drive.”

The Air Evac Life Team and the Oklahoma Highway Patrol also participated in the program, sharing their stories about first-hand experiences dealing with accidents caused by texting and driving.

Trooper Will Hayden said accidents involving texting and driving are becoming more common. He said it’s often easy to determine when an accident is caused by texting, and he usually looks at the driver’s cell phone first in an investigation.

Hayden said accidents involving texting drivers are among the most frustrating because they can usually be avoided.

“It really sucks for me, and your family, for me to have to tell them you died,” Hayden said.

A documentary about the results of texting and driving accidents, “From One Second to the Next”, showed several families who had been impacted by texting and driving.

The program wrapped with Aubrey Mouser, DHS senior, introducing the pledge campaign. Mouser said people could take the pledge by texting OKPLEDGE to 464329.

“Absolutely no text is worth the risk,” Mouser said. “It can wait.”