Health Communication Students Learn the Dangers of Texting while Driving

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More than 100,000 deaths per year are caused by texting while driving, enough to fill the Shoe at Ohio Stadium.

Ohio Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) and Nicole Walker, external affairs director for AT&T, spoke about the dangers of texting while driving in a health communication class recently. Gonzales has introduced legislation outlawing distracted driving and AT&T has led a consortium of mobile carriers to warn about the dangers of not paying attention to the road while driving.

Students test drove a simulator that demonstrated what texting while driving does while on the road. Health communication students will run a strategic campaign on campus to warn about the dangers of distracted driving.

This presentation proved not only to be beneficial in helping the students with their campaign, but it created lasting effects on the students.

“I have definitely changed my habits in the car,” said Audra Kohler, a senior business administration major with concentration in marketing. “By watching the video of victims of texting while driving, as well as the driving simulator, I now keep my phone in my bag in the backseat.”

Health communication instructor Dan Steinberg agrees. “It’s so dangerous,” said Steinberg. Students will teach others about the dangers while also learning how to plan and implement their strategic health communication campaign.

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