Actress Emma Roberts and teen sensation Justin Bieber appeared on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition last night in honor of the Remember Alex Brown Foundation, an organization created to educate teens about the dangers of texting while driving. The Extreme Makeover crew rebuilt the Brown home in Lubbock, TX, “now occupied by the remaining three family members, Jeanne, Johnny Mac, and Alex’s 12-year-old sister Katrina,” television blog Zap2It reports. Jeanne and Johnny Brown decided to create the Remember Alex Brown foundation the day their daughter, 17-year-old Alex, was killed while texting and driving last year.
“I chose to do it that day at the hospital,” her dad Johnny said. After losing his eldest daughter, he thought to himself, “We have to put the [wrecked] truck on a trailer, and we have to go to schools and tell people about the dangers of texting and driving.”
A September 2010 survey released by State Farm insurance showed that “fewer teens view texting while driving as leading to fatal consequences as compared to drinking while driving.” Only 36% of teens ages 14-17 “strongly agree that if they regularly text and drive they could be killed one day.” 55% strongly agree that drinking while driving could be fatal.
It turns out, teens who admit to texting while driving believe they are less likely to get in an accident than teens who never text while they drive. That makes sense, but it’s totally scary nonetheless. Research has shown that “the impairments associated with talking on a cell phone can be as profound as those associated with driving while intoxicated during those times when drivers are directly engaged in cell phone use.” Additionally, “The National Safety Council estimates that 200,000 crashes each year are caused by drivers who are texting.”
To learn more about the Remember Alex Brown Foundation, visit their website. For more information on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition honoring Alex Brown and to sign the no texting while driving pledge, click here.