Health Watch: Say no to texting and driving

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Lectures and scare tactics by well-meaning adults have not yet transformed this nation's teen drivers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teenagers in America.

Through participation in a high school grant program called Project Ignition, thousands of students have positively influenced the driving behaviors of their peers and broader communities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Here's the advice these students commonly share:

* Designate a texter in your car, and hand over your phone. Or, better yet, turn your phone to silent and lock it in the glove compartment until you arrive safely at your destination.

* Use your head. Remember that there is absolutely no text, song, call or distraction that is more important than your life or the lives of others.

* Drive defensively by keeping your full focus on the road and other drivers so you can react to changing situations.

* Be prepared with a strong, clear statement to stand up to a peer who isn't driving safely. Something like, "We both want to live, so let me answer your phone or text while you focus on driving."

-- National Youth Leadership Council/ Family Features

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GateHouse News Service