CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - According to the State Department of Public Safety distracted driving has been the cause of more than 9,000 accidents in our state so far this year.
High schoolers in Charleston County have joined more than 1,500 high schools across the nation in sending the message of awareness.
Charleston School of the Arts junior Brandon Holms said, "It could lead to a lot of accidents and lost lives."
"It can wait, it's just a text message," said SOA senior Ellison Karesh.
Students at the Charleston School of the Arts and Academic Magnet didn't hesitate to spread their message to fellow classmates.
SOA senior Destini Anderson said, "In like a blink of a moment someone could lose their life or it could permanetly damage them from one simple text saying "ok" or be "right there."
Anderson knows all too well the consequences of distracted driving.
"About 5 years ago my mom was coming home from a dinner and she actually got in a car accident from a guy who was texting. Her car flipped 3 times, so I try so hard not to text and drive all the time."
Students took turns on the driving simulation trying to text and dodge vehicles on the screen.
SOA Guidance Director Marcellus Holt said, "Our hope is that this pledge campaign will be impactful on them to know that texting and driving is just as bad as drinking and driving."
AT&T organized the event and invited their competitive partners Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon to take part.
Karesh said, "I don't think it's smart at all. It's not only endangering yourself, it's endangering other people."
According to a survey by connectsafely.org 90% of teens say they would stop texting while driving if a friend in the car asked them to.
Holmes said, "I've been in cars with a few people who have caught attitudes and I was just like, I don't want to get in any accidents. I'm just trying to get home safely."
More than 2.5 million people across the nation have already signed the pledge to not text and drive.