You may have heard the statistics about texting and driving before, but they're worth repeating. You are 23 times more likely to get in an accident if you're driving while texting.
Eastern Iowa driver's ed instructors are using a recent example to reinforce the serious consequences of texting and driving. They're reminding their students that it can lead to jail time and forever change the lives of others.
This month Jennifer Moeller from Holland was sentenced to five years in prison for a hit and run.
Police believe the 22-year-old was texting and driving when she hit 47-year-old Joan Nicholson who was riding a motorcycle. The Waterloo woman lost her leg in crash.
It's the kind of accident driver's ed instructors are teaching students to avoid.
"We include cell phone instruction right along with the use of intoxicants. It would not be at all different for a person to text while they drive as to have gotten well under the influence of alcohol, for instance," said Greg Bruns, a driver's ed teacher for Drive Tek.
Tickets and fines for texting behind-the-wheel took effect in July of last year in Iowa. But students have been getting the message about its dangers for a while.
"It's a risk that many kids my age are willing to take and I'm not gonna let myself do it," said Ashley Cary, a driver's ed student.
Cell phones are hard to put down, even for students training to be safe.
"Actually they don't have their cell phones when we're driving around. They go into the cup holder beside me into the front seat," said Bruns.
Before they get their license, more teens now know the risks.
"Temptations are always hard to resist but like, it's a smart thing to do and I learned well," said Cary.
Find out how to take our TXT L8R pledge by clicking here and join KWWL in our campaign to stop distracted driving.
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