Williamsport, Lycoming County- Since it is Teen Driver Safety Week parents of new drivers may want to stress the importance of getting rid of distractions while behind the wheel. The emphasis this week is on safety and prevention. One of the biggest dangers lies in the hands of teens behind the wheel when they are texting and driving.
17-year-old Cassidy Bower is a student at Area High School and new driver.
Like most teenagers, she has her cell phone in hand at the wheel. "I find myself most distracted when I'm trying to play my music because it's on my phone so I try to just let my playlist go but sometimes I do go on to change the song," says Bower.
Wynn Kutz is a teacher at Williamsport Area High School and the SADD advisor there. He says "the biggest thing that they need to do, most importantly, not distract themself. The radio is a distraction. Friends are a distraction." Although they try to stay away, as long as the phone is there, so is the temptation. Williamsport Police Officer Jason Bolt says "when you get in the car put your phone on vibrate or silent or just put it away where you don't have access to it. "
Bower says "I've seen a lot of students have consequences from texting and driving so i try to stay away from that." Now, this week is deemed Teen Driver Safety Week and acts as a reminder to eliminate distractions such as a phone, the radio, or other people in and around the car. Kutz says "you need to be a defensive driver. You need to watch out for the other guy, watch your swerving, cars in front of you. Watch what other people do."
Authority figures across the state are speaking out and giving tips on how to avoid becoming a statistic.
Officer bolt says besides keeping that phone out of reach is to wear a seatbelt. That goes for teens and adults. Bower's word of advice is "it's important for them not to text and drive because it's very possible that they will get in an accident and that one text message is not worth your life."
Eyewitness News invites you to take the no text NEPA pledge. It's a promise aimed at getting everyone to stop texting behind the wheel.