driving_web.jpgFORT LAUDERDALE — Florida’s new texting ban goes into effect on Oct. 1. Meanwhile, according to Allstate’s recently released 2013 America’s Best Drivers Report, drivers in Hialeah and Miami rank among the worst in the country, with Hialeah coming in fourth to last (#191) and Miami eighth to last (#187).

Some cities in Broward County aren’t far behind: Hollywood, Pembroke Pines and Miramar rank #168 and Fort Lauderdale ranks 148. While things are better in Palm Beach County, accidents in the Florida Keys (Monroe County) are known to close traffic on US 1 for hours in both directions.

The Allstate report, based on claims data, ranks America’s 200 largest cities in terms of car collision frequency. While the report doesn’t elaborate on the cause of the collisions, officials say indications are that texting while driving was likely involved in some of them. According to the National Safety Council, texting while driving is involved in more than 100,000 vehicle crashes each year.

Drivers who text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to be in an accident, according to Virginia Tech Transportation Institute research.

One consequence is that four national wireless service providers are spearheading the It Can Wait campaign, urging people to share their commitment to never text and drive with others on Drive 4 Pledges Day, Sept. 19.

Individuals can sign up at ItCanWait.com to get resources that will help them share their commitment on social media, and personalize the movement in their communities. 

Aspiring to create a social stigma around the dangers of texting while driving, Drive 4 Pledges Day will focus on getting individuals involved in taking the pledge to never text and drive while encouraging others in their community to do the same.

These individuals will join AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile US, Inc., Verizon and more than 200 other organizations by sharing their commitment not to text and drive while increasing awareness of the dangers.

On Sept. 19, Drive 4 Pledges Day, advocates will be encouraged to do things such as change their social profile photos and banner to It Can Wait graphics, and share their personal pledge stories using the hashtag #ItCanWait.

Offline activations will include hosting pledge drives and distributing posters in their schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.