Thursday is "Drive4 Pledges Day" in the AT&T-sponsored "It Can Wait" awareness campaign.
Texting while driving and distracted driving have become a reality in our world of instant technology. We are expected to respond to text messages or telephone calls any time of the day or night, including when we are driving. In 2011, 11 percent of drivers under age 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported to be distracted at the time of the crash.
Reading, answering or composing a text message while you are driving 55 mph takes your eyes off the road on average for 4.6 seconds. That is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field -- blind.
Because South Carolina is one of only three states that do not have a statewide ban on texting while driving, individual jurisdictions must create and enforce their own ordinances.
Hilton Head Island, the city of Beaufort and recently Beaufort County have enacted ordinances restricting texting while driving and enforcing those ordinances with stiff penalties.
On Thursday, Hardeeville's City Council is scheduled to have a first vote on its texting-while-driving ordinance. We need to put additional pressure on our stepresentatives and senators to make a statewide ban a priority before more deaths occur due to distracted driving. What are they waiting for?
Sign a pledge today to refrain from texting while driving at www.itcanwait.com. Remember, there is no text worth dying for. It can wait.