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Texting Is Killing Teen Drivers At Sobering Rates, State Holds Event Just Before Summer Break In Hopes To Save Lives

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While just glancing at a text message, you can travel the length of a football field while driving and do it with your eyes completely off the road.  It is amazing the danger it presents but texting while driving is still a big problem and a killer, especially of our nations youth.

The statistics are startling.

Teenagers are three times more likely than their parents to die in traffic accidents. In Minnesota, 118 teens died in traffic accidents between 2006 and 2008.

Statistics are only part of the story. Kelly Phillips, a Minnetonka High School senior, died in an auto rollover in 2007. She was a passenger in a car that went out of control when the driver was using an iPod, according to the State Patrol. With another passenger, they were headed for a bonfire that was to be strictly supervised by adults, and where no alcohol would be allowed. The driver was also killed in the accident and the other passenger seriously injured.

“Kelly was just like you,” her mother, Jane Phillips, told several dozen students at Eden Prairie High School on Thursday. “She was really smart. She was a three-sport athlete. She had a big future. … But her college applications never got sent in because she died before she could send them.”

Phillips and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., were key speakers at the Thursday safe-driving event, designed to target high school kids before summer break, when most teen crashes occur. The event was hosted by the Minnesota Teen Safe Driving Coalition, one of 10 coalitions formed nationwide by the National Safety Council to cut down on teen auto crashes.

Read more on the No Text Pledge via No-text vow for teen drivers |

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