Nassau County and Suffolk County teens pledge not to text and drive

Nearly 1,700 high school students on Long Island recently pledged not to text and drive. It was part of a nationwide awareness campaign about the dangers of texting and distracted driving.

After hearing a presentation that texting while driving is like driving with your eyes closed, 875 students at Bethpage High School and 824 at Babylon High School took part in the Allstate Insurance Company’s 28-city campaign to “X the TXT” launched during the holiday season, one of the deadliest times for teen drivers.

Texting is one of the most dangerous distractions facing teen drivers. It’s dangerous enough when experienced drivers get distracted by texting, let alone a driver with just a few months experience.

It’s now against the law in New York to text while drive. Federal statistics show distracted driving was to blame for nearly 6,000 deaths and 500,000 injuries in 2008, though it is unclear how many were the result of texting in particular.

Bottom line is with smartphones, satellite radios and a dashboard that is sure to get more complicated as hybrids and other energy efficient vehicles become prevalent, drivers need to concentrate their attention more than ever before. Teaching this lesson to those new to driving is a good place to start.