Push to end teen texting while driving

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – People are still reeling from the sudden death of Jacob Freybler who was killed in crash while texting Wednesday.

Each day in America, more than nine people are killed in crashes that involve a distracted driver, according the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Jim Freybler knows first-hand the dangers of texting and driving. He learned the hard way.

On Wednesday night, his 17-year-old son Jacob crossed the centerline and crashed into another car. Police say he was likely texting and killed instantly.

“It can wait, that text message can wait. You don’t want to go through what I am going through right now,” said Freybler.

He hopes sharing his story will help educate parents and teens on the dangers of texting while driving.

Sergeant Steve Austin was at the scene of the wreck that cost Jacob Freyble his life and he is fed up.

“It’s very frustrating to see these number rise instead of dropping,” said Sgt. Austin.

According to one national study, 82 percent of 16 and 17-year-olds own a cell phone and 34 percent admit to texting while driving. Around 77 percent of teens think they do it safely, while 55 percent say it is easy.

Also, 13 percent of drivers 18 to 20 admit that they were texting and driving after an accident.

Sgt. Austin says that statistic paints an incomplete picture.

“That surprises me that they admit that, I believe that number is double or triple realistically,” said Sgt. Austin.

Ironically, the same device that is the cause may be part of the cure. There are a number of apps to help prevent texting while driving.

Some of the apps will send a text to parents if they are disabled, but there are still some serious limitations.

Here are some online resources:

Texting and Driving: It Can Wait campaign

Texting while driving simulator

Texting while driving statistics


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