I was alone in my car one day and reached for my phone to fire off a quick message. I looked up and had to swerve to stay in my lane. Wow. I got lucky this time, but what if...?
Since then, I've learned a lot about risky driving behaviors. That car crashes are the number one killer of teens. That texting while driving is like drinking four beers and getting behind the wheel. That in 2008 distracted driving killed nearly 6,000 people and injured more than half a million more.
It's no secret that my generation is addicted to our phones. But, so is my mom. This isn't just a teen problem -- it's a family problem. Our cell phones help us communicate with the people we love, but they're also critical to how we live our lives. They keep us informed, entertained, and on schedule. But it's time to recognize that focusing on your phone when you're behind the wheel can be dangerous -- if not deadly.
Last year, my mom Jodi and I teamed up with Allstate's X the TXTSM movement to help educate kids and their parents about the dangers of texting while driving. My brother PJ, friends the Jonas Brothers -- and more than 125,000 teens and their families nationwide -- have joined us in taking the pledge not to text and drive. This issue is close to our hearts because we see our friends doing it, our parents doing it, and we know the solution is simple.
Just DON'T do it.
I am so encouraged by the nationwide conversation that's happening about the dangers of texting and driving, and honored to have a powerful platform to talk about this issue with my fans and their families. The conversation is happening where kids and their parents stay connected, including Facebook and Twitter. And the X the TXT messaging and programming has been integrated into events like concerts (including my Battlefield tour) and the Jonas Brothers Road Dogs softball games. The result? Families are talking about the issue and taking action whenever and wherever they spend time together.
This Wednesday, I am hosting my annual charity event -- the Jordin Sparks Experience in Arlington, Texas. During the event, my fans and their families can join me, my family, professional athletes, and celebrity friends, in taking the pledge not to text. We'll also be giving people a chance to appoint a DSGN8D TXTR (designated texter) to take over for them when they're on the road. Everyone can take the pledge and appoint their own DSGN8D TXTR on facebook.com/XtheTXT.
Reaching for your phone while driving increases your chances of crashing by nine times. We have to come together -- as friends, as families -- to take control. As much as I love to text and tweet, I've decided that no message is worth my life and I hope it's not worth yours either.