SAN ANTONIO -- The colorful mums are a sure sign it's homecoming week at Johnson High School in the North East Independent School District. While the celebration is exciting, the students were being schooled on a sad reality Friday.
Using a cell phone while driving is said to be the same as driving drunk with a .08 alcohol level, according to the 'Drive Now Text L8R' campaign.
NEISD students were put to the challenge with an obstacle driving course. The students were instructed to text while driving.
"We're seeing a rise of motor-vehicle crashes at the level one trauma center. And it's due to distracted driving," Tracy Cotner-Pouncy said. Cotner-Pouncy is the director of trauma services at University Hospital.
Hannah Peterson, a high school student, is accepting the University Health System's pledge: to put the brakes on texting while driving.
Peterson admits, though, she has texted while driving in the past.
"I actually got into a fender bender the first time I was driving," Peterson said.
The obstacle course proved to be difficult as Peterson knocked down three safety cones.
Peterson said it was a visual image that will stick with her.
"I know its a cone right now, but it could be a person -- another little kid -- crossing the street when you're driving," Peterson explained.
"We just want students to see no text is worth it. And you can wait for your destination before you answer that text," Cotner-Pouncy said.
According to University Health Systems, people talking on the phone are four times more likely to crash. People texting are 23 times more likely to wreck.
The organization said the estimated number of people seriously injured each year from distracted driving is approximately 500,000.
Trauma doctors, along with school officials, are hoping the students at Johnson vow to make this year's homecoming a safe one.