New documentary spotlights dangers of texting while driving

Reported by Bob Townsend – bio |email

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) -  Public awareness campaigns turned the tide on drinking and driving, and a major company is hoping to do the same for the epidemic of texting while driving.

A recent study found that texting while driving was more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.

Now, a special documentary should be seen by all people who are still breaking the law, by texting while behind the wheel.

The documentary was produced by communications giant AT&T.  It is part of the Company's "It Can Wait" campaign, an effort to try and get wireless users to not text while driving.

It is a powerful documentary that will drive the message home, by featuring stories and individuals whose lives have been altered by texting while driving.

Among those on the documentary is Merry Dye, whose seventeen year old daughter, Mariah West, was texting with her boyfriend, when she ran off the road and hit a concrete bridge.

"I was at work and got a call that there had been a pretty bad accident, so l left to go there," said Mariah's mom, Merry Dye.

Mississippi State Highway Patrol Trooper Grant Hendrix was one of the first on the scene of Mariah's accident and one of the first things he saw in the car was a cap and gown in the back seat.  Mariah was scheduled to graduate from high school the following day.

Despite being rushed to the hospital, Mariah suffered major internal injuries and died a short time later.

In the video, Mariah's crash is not the only texting accident featured.  There is the story about the young man who hit a bicyclist, another about two sisters texting to each other, and the deadly result.

AT&T is hoping people find the documentary very compelling, and will help convince people that the problem is so severe, they will never text and drive at the same time every again.

In the past ten months since the documentary was released, more than 21,000 consumers have pledged not to text and drive and have posted that message on the AT&T Facebook site.   The message is simple, no text is worth losing a life over.

The company is sending out free DVD copies of the documentary, hoping it will be shown at schools, to safety organizations and government agencies across the country, to let everyone know that of all cell phone related tasks, including talking, dialing or reaching for the phone, texting while driving is the most dangerous.

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