"It Can Wait" stressed at MHS

Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Don't text & drive was the message at Manila High School.

Manila High School FCCLA Adviser Mary Smith and her students brought a strong message to high school students on the dangers of texting and driving.

The program was held in conjunction with "It Can Wait" National Pledge Day on Sept. 19. A video was shown during lunch hour and students gathered in the auditorium signing a pledge sheet. After they signed the pledge sheet, they signed the "it can wait" banner.

The banner was placed on a wrecked vehicle parked near the football field. Students and parents signed the banner at the Thursday junior high game and Friday senior high game.

Mrs. Smith stressed to the students not to sign the pledge unless they planned on keeping it. The bottom line is -- distracted driving is deadly.

According to the fact sheets distributed, distracted driving is a risk primarily associated with texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, but distracted driving can be caused by so much more. Other common teen distractions include eating while driving, putting on makeup/getting ready in the car; adjusting GPS systems; adjusting music and having friends and other passengers in the vehicle.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), on average, 11 teens die in car crashes every day.

Local advocates, families and victims, celebrities, and federal legislators have elevated distracted driving prevention efforts to end these preventable tragedies.

The three main types of distractions include visual -- taking eyes off the road; manual -- taking hands off the wheel; and cognitive -- taking one's mind off what he or she is doing.

Facts shared with the students:

*A child dies on the world's roads every three minutes. (Commission for Global Road Safety)

*Distraction from cell phone use while driving (hand held or hands free) delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (University of Utah)

*The under-20 age group has the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes at 16 percent. (NHTSA)

*Taking one's eyes off the road for just five seconds at 55 mph is like driving the length of a football field completely blind.

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