About teen drivers: ‘The Last Text’

By Anne Collier

It has to be one of the saddest titles I’ve seen. To help stop texting while driving, AT&T has produced a mini-doc about teens who have died, been critically injured, or have caused a death while texting behind the wheel, as well as those who sent the driver that final text. And the messages were so trivial: “lol,” “where r,” and “where u at.” Said a young man in the video who has had to put his life back together after causing a cyclist’s death, “If someone were to ask me to drive down the road and close my eyes for 5 to 6 seconds, I would never even attempt that. But if someone then asks, “Read this text message and respond to that in about the same length of time, there would be no problem, I’ve done that numerous times in the past before this accident…. I sent one stupid, meaningless text, ‘lol,’ and killed a man.” The video cites a figure from the Transportation Institute at Virginia Tech showing that drivers are 23 timesray more likely to be involved in an accident if they’re texting while driving. Car & Driver magazine ran a driving test with two drivers aged 22 and 37, comparing the difference in reaction time between texting-impaired driving and drinking-impaired driving. For the drinking-impaired test, both drivers were just over the legal alcohol limit of .08%. In its video about the test, Car & Driver says the 22-year-old’s texting-impaired reaction time was twice as long as his alcohol-impaired reaction time. The 37-year-old’s reaction time while texting was triple that of his alcohol-impaired one. This is not saying DUI is better than texting, ppl (!), but pay attention: No matter what, if you get a text while driving, pull over to read or reply! In Michigan, teens organized a distracted-driving event, WoodTV.com reports. [Here’s US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s blog post about the video, which has gotten more than 1.1 million views on YouTube so far.]

Leave a comment