Students Tells About The Dangers Of Texting And Driving

Chance Bothe describes accident after sending a text message while driving.
Texting and driving don't mix. A young college student is lucky to be alive after being involved in a vehicle accident while texting. He joined a wireless provider in announcing a nationwide campaign to urge people to make a lifelong commitment never to text while driving.

By all accounts, Chance Bothe shouldn't be alive today with injuries he received in January after his pickup truck veered off a bridge and plunged 35 feet into a ravine near Wharton west of Houston. He had just sent a text message before the accident.

"I broke 75 percent of my face from my cheekbones all the way up. I broke my neck, my sternum, oh yeah, and I broke some ribs and I got a collapsed lung."

He was pulled from his mangled truck moments before it burst into flames. Bothe's fractured face resulted in extensive reconstruction. His traumatic brain injuries sent him to rehabilitation at Houston's TIRR Memorial Hermann.

"I went through about 6 months of rehab, and I finally got to come home the other day, a little over a week and a half ago. But things are getting better and better. And here I am right now, telling everyone not to text and drive, or else they'd be in the same situation I went through, which was not — it was not good."

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia says he would back any legislation aimed at stopping texting and driving, but it must begin at home.

"It is the adults who have taught young people how to text and drive. We have been a horrible role model to our children. So I need to urge our parents, our adult drivers, the members of our household. Be the one to set the example. Our children will follow, if we do."

According to the National Highway Safety Council, more than 100,000 times each year  people are injured or die while a driver was texting and driving. Alice Aanstoos with AT&T says that's why they're taking charge with the campaign called, "It can Wait."

"Take a pledge to join the movement to end texting and driving. Second, we all need to set an example. Our studies show that 77 percent of teens, learn that behavior by watching their parents texting while driving. We all need to be conscious of that, and to stop that ourselves. Third, I would encourage you to please visit www.itcanwait.com. There are a lot of resources available there, to help educate yourself, your families and the public, to no longer text and drive."

She says AT&T plans to spend millions on the campaign this year and had made it an ongoing commitment for years to come. More information can be found at www.itcanwait.com.

Bio photo of Pat Hernandez

Pat Hernandez

Reporter

Pat Hernandez is a general assignments reporter who joined the KUHF news staff in February of 2008...