Cronin Asks Fans to Pledge to Stop Texting & Driving
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Jan. 21, 2014

Cronin column in Cincinnati Enquirer

University of Cincinnati men's basketball head coach Mick Cronin wrote a guest column in the Cincinnati Enquirer on Jan. 21 encouraging fans to take the "It Can Wait" pledge to stop texting while driving.

For more information on how you can take the pledge please visit ItCanWait.com.

Cronin Calls Foul on Texting While Driving
Like everyone, I text a lot.  Between texting recruits, connecting with my players and staff, let alone being a working dad, I send countless texts every day.  However, there's an important time when texting just isn't worth it and it's while driving.

On my way to campus, I often see drivers who are drifting into other lanes, going too slow, or just generally driving erratically. Many times, these folks are not even looking at the road. They are focused on their cell phones.

We all know how dangerous texting while driving is: almost 100,000 accidents occur each year due to texting while driving and drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in an accident.  Yet, people continue to do it.  Forty-nine percent of commuters in a recent survey self-report texting while driving, even though 98 percent of commuters acknowledge that texting while driving is dangerous.

I've made this same mistake before too. But if all of us would just take a minute, we would realize no text is worth the risk. It's certainly not more important to me than time spent with my precious daughter, Samantha, or my loving extended family.

As a Cincinnatian born and raised, I care about my community and I don't want anyone to be one of these statistics.  So during this time when we all are thinking about goals for a new year, I'm asking you to please take the It Can Wait pledge at www.itcanwait.com.  More than 2.5 million Americans have taken the pledge.  Our basketball program is putting down our phones while we drive.  I hope you will consider doing it too.

Not only will putting your phone away make a difference, speaking up can as well, especially for a teenager. I'd like to encourage all young people to hold each other accountable when you are in the car with a driver who is texting.

• 78 percent of teen drivers say they're likely not to text and drive
   if friends tell them it's wrong or stupid;
• 93 percent would stop texting if a parent in the car asked them to; and
• 90 percent say they'd stop if a friend in the car asked them to.

As we think about how we can improve our community, please take this small step and set down your phone while you're driving. Thank you for your consideration.

Thank you for your support and Go Bearcats!

Mick Cronin
Men's basketball head coach
University of Cincinnati