COLUMBIA, SC — More than six thousand deaths and half a million injuries each year are caused by distracted drivers who text, email or talk on their cell phones while driving. Although technological advances have made tasks easier and daily lives productive, these devices also bring an added responsibility to use them carefully while behind the wheel. According to a 2008 survey, 40% of South Carolina drivers admitted to texting while driving, making the state one of the worst in the country when it comes to distracted driving.
In an effort to raise awareness about the dangers of texting and driving, several South Carolina Verizon Wireless stores located in the Columbia area, Sumter, Greenwood and Orangeburg are hosting a “Don’t Text & Drive” event on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. By teaming with partners throughout the local community including high patrols and police departments, Verizon is seeking to promote the importance of safe driving. The campaign is aimed at drivers of all ages, but particularly focuses on educating teens on the dangers of texting while driving. Store visitors are encouraged to sign “Don’t Text & Drive” pledge cards, in which they promise to be safe behind the wheel and use wireless devices responsibly.
Several police departments are participating in the event and will be at Verizon stores to speak with the community to discuss the dangers and laws in place against texting and driving. On Saturday, May 19th, Columbia’s Mayor Steve Benjamin will make an appearance at the Northeast Columbia Verizon store located at 10110 Two Notch Road at 10:30 a.m. to support the city’s new ordinance and encourage participants to drive carefully.
“In the City of Columbia and across the nation, communities have awakened to the serious dangers posed by distracted driving and taken action to prevent it,” said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin. “We are very excited to be part of this effort to further raise awareness and keep our streets safe.”
The Verizon stores with the most single-day pledge cards signed on May 19th will win $1,000 from Verizon Wireless for their local high school. The high schools competing for the cash prize include: Irmo, Greenwood, Lexington, Spring Valley, Orangeburg-Wilkinson, Sumter and A.C. Flora.
For more information about the “Don’t Text & Drive” Campaign, contact your local Verizon Wireless store.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 93.0 million retail customers, including 88.0 million retail postpaid customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 80,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD). For more information, visit www.verizonwireless.com. To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at www.verizonwireless.com/multimedia.