As thousands of Wisconsin high school students head back to classes this fall, a mother who lost her daughter in a texting and driving crash is urging them to put the phone down while behind the wheel.
Sending or reading a message while driving may not seem that dangerous, but Merry Dye says it changed everything for her family when her daughter was sending a message to a friend. The teen crossed the center median, and then her car clipped a bridge and started to roll. She was partially thrown from the vehicle and suffered massive head trauma, dying a few days later.
Dye’s story is featured in a documentary AT&T is showing to high school students across Wisconsin this fall, as part of ongoing efforts to warn them about the dangers of texting and driving. She also travels the country speaking to kids and hears many excuses from teens defending their behavior. Dye says she tells those kids that the statistics will catch up with them and that texting behind the wheel is like “playing Russian roulette.”
Dye says the battle against texting and driving is much like the effort to fight drunk driving started by MADD 25 years ago. She says the greatest progress will come from getting young drivers to see texting behind the wheel as socially unacceptable.