EDMOND — The stereotype of an inexperienced teen driver texting and causing most traffic accidents isn’t true.
That was the message Saturday at the parking lot of Oklahoma Fidelity Bank in Edmond, where the inaugural “Mommy Please Don’t Text Text & Drive” event was held.
One of the organizers, Michelle Schaefer of Farmers Insurance, commented on the makeup of drivers who engage in distracted driving, including texting while driving.
“We found out that 54 percent of the accidents caused by texting and driving were by drivers over the age of 25,” Schaefer said.
That statistic alarmed Joan Curtis, also of the agency.
“It’s a significant number,” Curtis said. “We know that most children pick up their habits, including driving habits, by watching what their parents do.”
Armed with that knowledge, Schaefer and Curtis organized the event, held on E Second. They hoped to raise public awareness and possibly prevent a tragedy.
In addition to Oklahoma Fidelity Bank, they also had help during the day from the Edmond Fire Department.
On hand was department veteran Gary Dill, wrapping up a career that has spanned more than 34 years. He’s been on the scene of many accidents, and he believes distracted driving was a factor in many of them.
“Most wrecks are preventable,” he said.
He said drivers need to know that a vehicle, weighing thousands of pounds, has the ability to cause great damage in a short amount of time.
“Drivers shouldn’t take it (safety) too lightly,” he added.
During the event, child safety seats were offered.
Motorists were urged to sign a pledge not to text and drive.
Some of that pledge read, “This (not texting and driving) is to protect others as well as the people in my car and set an example to my children of how important they are to me and our family.”