RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—"Car crashes are the number one cause of death for teenagers," Ann Shoket, editor-in-chief of Seventeen magazine, said at the Department of Transportation's recent two-day Distracted Driving Summit. "More than drugs, more than disease, and more than guns." Shoket was hosting a panel discussion on the dangers of driving while text-messaging, which included two drivers who had caused accidents while doing so. Teen driving safety was a major issue at the summit, with many safety experts noting that teens have the highest crash rates but are also the least capable of multitasking.
"Texting and driving was something I'd done many times before," said Reggie Shaw, now 22, who caused a fatal head-on collision in Utah that killed two other drivers when he was 19. "But there's no excuse for what I did." Shaw now travels to high schools around Utah educating teenage drivers about the dangers of driving while text-messaging. "I can't drive down the road without thinking about what happened to me, what I did."
"We think we're invincible," added Nicole Meredith, who had an accident when she was 18. She was driving down the highway going 70 miles an hour, when, while she was texting a friend, she drifted onto the median, overcorrected, and ended up smashing her car into concrete barriers on the other side of the highway. "We think we can text, that we can call people, blast music. We think we're doing everything fine, and we're really not."
Published on: October 2, 2009
Updated on: March 24, 2010