About Chelyen Davis:
Chelyen Davis is health reporter for The Free Lance-Star
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The next time you’re in the main hallway at Mary Washington Hospital, check out the bulletin board outside the Trauma Service. Their display includes the last text messages that three teens ever saw:
* One is “yeah.” A 19-year was reading this message when she flipped her car and died.
* Another is “Where u at.” An 18-year was reading this one while driving. She was killed after she crossed the center line and ran into another car.
* The third is just “Where r.” It appears that the young man who was sending this one never finished it. He crashed his car and suffered a permanent brain injury.
As you might expect, the trauma staff is opposed to texting or talking while driving. Like drunk driving, the practice brings them customers they’d rather not have.
As their display says, “Distracted driving is an epidemic, particularly among teens who are confident of their ability to text or talk while driving. Of the 5,500 people killed last year due to distracted driving, the largest proportion of fatalities occurred among young people under the age of 20.”
(An earlier post on this topic is here.)