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Texting Teens Worry Highway Patrolmen

October 6th, 2008 by flanews

One in four teens admits to texting while driving. They may be part of the reason why teens were responsible for 36,000 wrecks on Florida roads last year. About 500 of those were fatal. As Whitney Ray tells us, the state launched a new website today aimed at making teens safer drivers.

Hear it Here: Texting Teens Worry Highway Patrolmen

Scars on his face and neck remind Brandon Donaldson hes lucky to be alive. Brandon was riding with a friend who was speeding. He wasnt buckled up.

I was thinking, like, this cant be happening. I though it was a dream, but that was the last think I remember I dont remember hitting the mailbox, Brandon said.

Brandon is just one of more than 36,000 Florida teens who were in wrecks last year. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles launched a new website aimed at making teens better drivers.

Two thirds of teens killed in traffic accidents arent buckled up. When properly used occupant restraint systems reduce the chance of a fatal injury by 45 percent, said Colonel John Czernis.

Patrolmen say distractions like loud music, DVD players and food are the main cause of teen driving accidents. One in four teens admits to texting while driving.

People who send text messages while driving do two things that really worry cops. First they take their eyes off the road. Second they take their hands off the steering wheel to send messages.

Seventeen year-old Omar Hudson said hes read text messages while driving.

I try to look at the text look at the road look back and forth, but I try not to do it too often, said Omar.

But once has been too often, too many times. The website (www.takethewheel.net) has video messages from teens who survived wrecks and a section for people to post their own stories.

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