Wireless Carriers Pal Up to Fight Teen Texting, Driving

The period between Memorial and Labor days has become known as the "100 deadliest days for teens"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Year in and year out, a deadly timeframe starts on Memorial Day and ends on Labor Day. But this year, a major push is underway to change the number of imjuries and deaths caused by texting and driving. Lisa Parker reports. (Published Wednesday, May 29, 2013)

    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.

    Graphic PSA Warns of Texting, Driving

    [CHI] Graphic PSA Warns of Texting, Driving
    The new public service announcement warning teens of the perils of texting while driving is violent, bloody and graphic. (Published Tuesday, Aug 25, 2009)

    "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.