ASU student seeks pledges to stop texting and driving
An ASU student is working to keep her peers from driving distracted.
ASU psychology senior Jordan Hibbs has organized two events at ASU's Tempe campus this week that aim to highlight the dangers of texting while driving.
The first will take place Wednesday at the university's Memorial Union from 4 to 6 p.m. It will educate and show people the dangers of driving distracted, Hibbs said.
"We're showing the documentary 'From One Second to the Next,'" she said. "Students will be able to discuss in small groups, and then as a larger group, the dangers of distracted driving and what the consequences can be."
Hibbs said the documentary focuses on the stories of people who have been directly affected by distracted driving.
"Either they're a victim of texting and driving or they've had a family member or friend that has been affected by it," she said.
Wednesday's event will also have texting and driving simulators that Hibbs said show how dangerous it is to get distracted by cell phones or other handheld devices while driving.
"We'll have students sending texts while they're trying to drive on the simulator and they'll just be able to see why it's not possible to text and drive safely," Hibbs said.
According to Distraction.gov, a website created by the National Highway Transportation Safety Board about distracted driving, 3,328 people were killed in distracted-driving crashes in 2011 and an estimated 421,000 people were injured.
Distraction.gov also states that "sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds." At 55 mph, that's enough to travel the length of a football field without ever looking up from a device.
Hibbs said there needs to be more education about the dangers of texting and driving.
"It's something that's not focused on. It's not focused on in schools anymore and parents sometimes don't focus on it as much as they should," she said. "It's (an) education piece that really needs to be put out into the public and that's what we're trying to do."
On Thursday, from 9:45 a.m. until 12 p.m., Hibbs said volunteers will be on the lawn of the Student Services Building at ASU collecting pledges to not text and drive.
"Students can come out and attempt to text and drive on the driving simulators and get information about distracted driving, and hopefully sign the pledge to not text and drive," she said. "People say texting and driving is bad and they know the consequences, but taking a pledge actually makes people more likely to not text and drive."
Both events are a part of AT&T's "It Can Wait" campaign, which aims to reduce distracted driving.