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Abilene High School students learn how dangerous texting and driving really is

By Jennifer Kendall, jkendall@ktxs.com
Published On: Feb 07 2013 07:13:30 PM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

Texting and driving is a growing epidemic among teenagers in the US.  It accounts for about 25 percent of all car accidents in the nation.

Thursday, teenagers at Abilene High School were warned about the effects of texting and driving during a presentation by AT&T.

To drive home the message, students got behind the wheel of a texting and driving simulator.

"Not only could I not drive, I could not text either. I misspelled plenty of words and I was speeding and I got hit," said Gabriel Dixon, a senior at Abilene High School. 

Every student that took a turn on the simulator crashed.

Texting while driving is six times more likely to cause an accident than driving intoxicated according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. Yet many teens admit they pick up their phone at the wheel all the time.

Texting and driving is now the number one driving distraction reported by teenagers. The institute for Highway Safety Fatality Facts indicates 11 teens die every day because of it.

Thanks to Thursday’s presentation, some high school students may think twice about keeping their eyes on the road and off their phone.

"I’d rather live my full life than knowing a couple words are going to take it,” said Abilene High School Senior Savree Lozano.

Texting and driving is not currently illegal in Texas, unless it is in a school zone or it involves a driver under 18 years old.

Two years ago, Rick Perry vetoed a bill that would ban texting and driving in the state, but another bill is on the table for this legislative session.