Tragically, another young driver has died while driving and texting. The parents of 22-year-old Alexander Heit of Greeley, Colorado, recently released his last text message, and their story quickly went viral.
According to police, Heit drifted close to oncoming traffic. Perhaps trying to avoid being clipped, his car then swerved off the road before flipping and killing the 22-year-old college student. When his iPhone was recovered from the wreck, Heit's final words were, "Sounds good my man, seeya soon, ill tw..." The young man reportedly had a spotless driving record. His parents released te phone text in hopes of reminding others of the real danger that exists when distracted by texting. Matt’s mother Sharon Heit says of their decision:
“I can’t bear the thought of anyone else having to go through something like this … Please, vow to never, never text and drive. In a split second you could ruin your future, injure or kill others, and tear a hole in the heart of everyone who loves you.”
Research shows that when driving, you take your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds to send or read a text message. That’s equivalent to driving the length of a football field at 55 m.p.h. — blindfolded. In the meantime, traffic lights change, drivers switch lanes. Sound risky? Just ask a police officer, a judge, or a grieving parent. We all think we can defy the odds. But it just isn't so.
Young, inexperienced drivers are often at greater risk, since they don’t have as much driving experience. But in truth, texting is the riskiest of all distracted behaviors. Set a good example; don’t text while you drive. Read our story to discover other ways you can keep your teen (and yourself) safe on the road.