Every year, Memorial Day is the gateway to an ominous time frame known as "The 100 Deadliest Days for Teens."
But this year, competitors in the wireless industry have joined forces to combat a major source of deadly accidents: texting and driving.
"Unfortunately what we see with texting is it's hitting the good kids. It's the ones who are well-adjusted, well-connected, [and] involved in their schools and communities. They’re the good kids. That's why they have the reward of having a cell phone. .... This is the epidemic for them," said a spokesperson who knows too well the dangers of texting and driving.
Merry Dye came to Chicago this month on the fourth anniversary of a terrible tragedy in her life. In May of 2009, her daughter Mariah West died in a crash caused by texting. Three words cost her life and changed her mother's forever.
"It is not a matter of if you’re going to have an accident, but when. If you engage in this behavior, it will catch up to you. Texting and driving... is like a game of Russian Roulette," said Dye.
West died just as her home state was passing a ban on texting and driving. Four years later, the world has changed so much: 40 states now have bans in place and major companies have invested big money in the campaign to stop the reckless behavior,
Dye joined forces with AT&T in the company’s "It Can Wait" campaign. This month, AT&T’s efforts got a major boost from a surprising place: its wireless competitors. Along with 200 other companies, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile joined in to fight the epidemic plaguing the industry.
- ItCanWait.com: Take The Driving Pledge
- Distraction.gov: Official U.S. Government website for distracted driving
- Dangers of Distraction: Non-Profit Organization Seeking to Raise Awareness