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Matt Wieters Talks Texting And Driving At Howard County High School

CLARKSVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — It can wait. Those are the words being enforced to a group of local teens when it comes to texting and driving.

Marcus Washington explains how one of the Orioles has become a big part of the campaign.

Orioles catcher Matt Wieters met with students at River Hill High School in Howard County to talk about texting and driving. But it wasn’t all talk during this visit.

In a high school auditorium, it’s not hard to find modern day communication in use. Texting is a way of life for more than 300 million cell phone users in the United States alone. It’s also become a serious issue for drivers.

For students at River Hill High School in Howard County, they’re getting to see the true dangers of texting and driving firsthand.

With the wheel of a driving simulator in one hand and a cell phone in the other, they see just how easy it is to have or cause an accident.

“Because I was completely on the opposite side of the road. And in [the simulator], there’s no cars coming, but there will be cars coming in real life,” said Samantha Crouse, student.

Records show 83 percent of U.S. teens ages 16 to 17 own a cell phone. Recent studies reveal 3,000 teen deaths and 300,000 injuries are associated with texting and driving.

To help bring the message home, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters brought the message that texting and driving can wait.

“And really, you can see how much enthusiasm they have. And that’s how things get done and how lives get changed,” Wieters said.

Many teens use the excuses of “it’s better to read a text than send one,” or, “if I hold it up to the windshield, I can keep my eyes on traffic and write my text,” but the truth is they’re both potentially deadly mistakes.

“It’s really not worth it. And as the video shows, only one text could lead to a whole crash and it can not only kill yourself, but other people. It’s not worth it,” said Drew Tyler, student.

The “It Can Wait” campaign is a national initiative run by AT&T.

In Maryland, drivers are only legally allowed to use hands-free devices while driving.

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