by JAYCEE CALDWELL/Staff Writer
The dangers of texting and driving are a serious concern that anyone behind the wheel of a vehicle needs to be more aware of.
The South Plains College Cheerleaders are teaming up with McGavock Nissan in Lubbock, to promote the Red Thumb Movement as a service project.
Linda McCulloch, cheer sponsor at SPC, says, “I am very pleased that the cheerleaders have adopted the Red Thumb Band Movement as one of their service projects. Texting and driving is a growing trend among all ages, and if wearing the red thumb band will remind someone to NOT text and drive, then the movement will be worth all the time spent on promoting it, and could save a life.”
According to a study done by Cohen Children’s Medical Center, more than 3,000 teens die each year in crashes caused by texting and driving, while only 2,700 teens are killed in drunk driving accidents. Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving drunk.
The SPC Cheerleaders know how dangerous drinking and driving can be, but they are not sure if everyone understands the dangers of texting and driving. Every teen has had their own experiences of being distracted while driving, and texting seems to be a main concern.
According to a 2012 AAA poll, 94 percent of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35 percent admitted to doing it anyway. SPC Cheerleader Sierra Garza said, “We’re all guilty of it, and it needs to stop.” The Cheerleaders, their sponsor, and McGavock Nissan all realize the risks of texting and driving. They believe it is important to get the word out while trying to make the road a safer place.
McGavock Nissan has generously donated the red thumb bands for the cheerleaders to pass out on campus. The bands will be passed out at Texan and Lady Texan basketball games at Texan Dome. The Cheerleaders also will have a table at Texan Preview Day on Nov. 21 to talk about the dangers of texting and driving while handing out more red thumb bands. They also will pass out thumb bands at Senior Sneak on Feb. 12. The goal for the cheerleaders is to see every student, faculty and staff member at SPC, as well as students and other residents in surrounding communities, wearing the thumb bands.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teens who text while driving spend approximately 10 percent of their driving time outside of their lane. Also, the National Safety Council has released data showing that 25 percent of car crashes, or 1,535,490 in 2013, were caused by cell-phone use.
Texting and driving not only affects the driver using the phone, but also other drivers, passengers, and pedestrians on the road. Nissan and the SPC Cheerleaders encourage students to join them in the Red Thumb Band Movement. The text can wait. Help keep the roads safe.