Teen’s Near Death Inspires No Texting While Driving Campaign

August 6, 2012

Teen texts about No Texting and Driving before driving off a cliff (via Time).

August 6, 2012 — Moments before Chance Bothe drove off of a cliff, he texted: “I need to quit texting, because I could die in a car accident.” Irony aside, Bothe’s accident highlights the serious dangers of texting while driving.

Bothe, a 21-year old Texas college student, was severely injured: he suffering a broken neck, a crushed face, a fractured skull, and traumatic brain injuries.  The extent of his life-threatening injuries was such that doctors had to bring Bothe back to life three times.

No Texting and Driving sign (It's the law!) from SmartSign

Signs like these remind drivers to quit texting and driving .

After a painful, six-month recovery in which Bothe learned how to speak again, the teen believes God has saved him for a higher purpose.  He has since dedicated his life to spreading awareness about texting and driving.

In a 2009 report from, 5,474 people were killed in distracted driving crashes, and another 448,000 injured.  Moreover, texting delays drivers’ response time even more than drinking does.

Bothe joins countless others in the battle against texting and driving. Similar to the way drunk driving awareness campaigns have helped educate drivers, individuals are trying to achieve the same results with no texting and driving. These groups rely on market-based initiatives such as handing out fliers, blogging, amending drivers’ education courses, or posting street signs to remind drivers to quit texting while driving.

Drive smart sign from SmartSign

Some states have banned all handheld cellphone use while driving in an effort to counter texting while driving .

Meanwhile, on the enforcement front, 39 states have banned texting and driving. 10 states have prohibited all handheld cell phone use altogether. In addition to implementing bans, states have increased the fines for texting and driving, making  the violation a primary offense.  In other words, officers can pull over and ticket drivers without there being any other traffic violation taking place.

No texting and driving sign, from Myparkingsign

Alert drivers to the consequences of texting while driving – a serious car accident (via MyParkingSign).

Bothe’s unfortunate accident has brought more attention to the ongoing nationwide debate, and has added much-needed fuel to no texting and driving awareness campaigns. Sad as it may seem that it takes an accident or tragedy to change people’s minds, it can serve as a important lesson to all those who text while driving, namely, not to do it.

– N. Gilliat

Category: News, Regulations

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