Students Choose to Drive Without Distraction

Texting and driving pledge

Students voluntarily pledged and signed cards to seal their commitment to not text and drive for the 10 days surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday. Photo credit: Scott L. Huck/Cedarville University

by Public Relations

November 19, 2010

It began as a class project in public health and rapidly grew to become a campus wide initiative.

The project: pick a driving distraction that impacts campus. What followed was a simple survey developed by senior nursing students Jennifer Webster, Evonne Hoogland, Jessica Brunelle, Jenny Howell and Mary Lewis.

“We asked our fellow students whether they felt texting while driving was dangerous and if so, would they be willing to change their habits,” shares Lewis.

The nearly 3,200 students of Cedarville University were challenged by their own confessions, which indicated that perhaps more than half the student body texts at some point while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

“At this point in their lives, students tend to think they are invincible,” describes Carl Ruby, Cedarville University Vice President for Student Life. “The reality is, that if you get behind the wheel and are distracted, the likelihood of losing control of the vehicle increases. I am excited to see our students take the initiative on their own to change their texting habits.”

The grass roots “Put It Down: Distracted Driving” campaign, over the course of several weeks, culminated in students’ voluntarily pledging and signing cards to seal their commitment to not text and drive for the 10 days surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday.

As a side benefit, the first 200 students to pledge received a free cup of coffee from Rinnova, the University coffee shop.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,200 undergraduate, graduate, and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.

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