r On Feb. 17, students from Spanish Fork High School took a pledge to put their cell phones down and focus on the road as part of Allstate’s national “X the TXT” campaign. The Allstate Foundation partnered with Health World and the Utah Highway Patrol to urge students to stay distraction-free behind the wheel and raise awareness of the dangers of texting and driving.
Allstate Agency owner Ryan Larsen and Trooper Blake Bradford presented a safe driving halftime event during Spanish Fork High School’s varsity basketball game.
“My goal every day is to get the public home safe,” Bradford said. “By teaching young kids the importance of not driving while distracted, we can accomplish this. Life is more important than a text.”
Larson and Bradford discussed the dangers of distracted driving while participants added their thumbprints to a banner, symbolizing their promise not to text and drive.
“Spanish Fork High School students pledging not to text and drive is a simple act that can make a significant difference,” Larson said. “That thumbprint symbolizes more than a promise: It’s peace of mind for parents and safer roads for all drivers. No text is worth risking a life.”
Research indicates that texting while driving takes teens’ eyes off of the road for an average of five seconds – enough time to drive the length of a football field at 55 miles per hour. On average, eight teens die in a car crash each day.
“It is important to ensure that teens know the dangers of distracted driving, and our partnership with Allstate gives us the tools to promote this education,” said Peter Rusin, Health World executive director. “Bringing X the TXT to Spanish Fork High School helps leave an impact on students that could ultimately save lives.”
Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions facing teen drivers today. According to recent research by The Allstate Foundation and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
• 75 percent of teens admit they find themselves reading and responding to texts behind the wheel, yet more than 40 percent still admit to texting and driving.r• 49 percent of teens admit to being extremely distracted by texting while driving.r• 82 percent of teens say they use their cell phones behind the wheel.r• 25 percent of all police-reported traffic crashes are from distracted driving.
Four out of five teens said their parents would be the best influence in getting them to drive more safely. With this in mind, The Allstate Foundation and Allstate have created the Parent-Teen Driving Agreement to help parents outline their teen’s driving responsibilities and define the parent’s role in helping their teen succeed.
Since the launch of X the TXT, more than two million people have made the pledge and X the TXT events have taken place across the country. Upon pledging, participants receive thumb bands with the words TXTNG KLLS to wear as a daily reminder of their commitment. Pledge Cards are passed out to everyone who makes the pledge to help get a conversation started at home and encourage families to commit to safer, focused driving.
To make the pledge not to text and drive, or for more information on the X the TXT pledge program, visit www.facebook.com/xthetxt.