The Great Hang Up: On Test Track, Teens Learn Risks of Texting and Driving

10:46 PM, May 20, 2010   |    comments
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  • The Safe Teen Georgia Driving Academy was hosted at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
  • Justin Sarabia drives a golf cart through an obstacle course while trying to text.
  • Mary Dunn brought her two sons, Justin and Jared, to the Motor Speedway to learn about the dangers of distracted driving.
    

Justin Sarabia is like any typical teen. He loves his driver's license and his cell phone.

But his mother brought him to the Safe Teen Georgia Driving Academy at the Atlanta Motor Speedway to learn why those two things should never go together.

View: The Great Hang Up Special Page

"Me being young, I like to text, and there's a lot of temptation to do it,"says Sarabia. 

The challenge is to send a text message while driving a golf cart.

Sarabia says his mother, Mary Dunn,  has already told him about the dangers of texting and driving. Dunn says she doesn't always lead by example, so she hopes if he hears the message from people like police officers and EMTs, he'll be more inclined to listen. 

  "We hear that, 'Oh mom, oh dad, I know, I know,'" says Dunn, "I'm hoping it will lay a foundation and plant a seed and that seed's gonna sprout when that moment of temptation comes up and we're not around."

Later, Justin takes to the course, and tries to navigate a winding road of orange cones while texting his mother in a golf cart. And five squashed cones later, Sarabia says he's convinced.

It's hard to keep your eyes on your phone and on the road at the same time, so you might want to not text at all and just drive. No more texting while driving for me."

By the end of the day, both mother and son will commit to making their cars a no phone zone by signing a safe driving pledge.

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