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Teen killed in car crash, after posting: "Driving and Facebooking is not safe!"

8 March 2012

Taylor Sauer was driving at 80mph on her way from Utah State University to visit her parents in Caldwell Idaho in January when she ploughed into a slow-moving truck on a hill.

During the drive, she had exchanged messages with friends about the American football team, the Denver Broncos.

Moments before the crash, she had posted a message on Facebook saying: "I can't discuss this now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha."

Investigators discovered that Sauer had been using her phone to send and receive text messages and access Facebook an average of every 90 seconds during the 4 hour journey.

There were no signs that she had attempted to apply the brakes before hitting the slow moving truck, which was estimated to be travelling at 15mph.

Lt. Sheldon Kelley of Idaho police said: "The text messages were both incoming and outgoing during her trip.

"In addition to the texting, there were multiple Facebook communications to and from Taylor Sauer during the minutes immediately prior to the crash."

Sauer's parents Clay and Shauna have now launched a safety campaign appealing to drivers not to use telephones and social media when driving. They have also called for a ban on texting while driving. It is illegal to drive without paying proper attention in Idaho, but sending messages is not specifically barred.

Mr Sauer told NBC's Today show: "I think she was probably [texting] to stay awake, she was probably tired.

"But that's not a reason to do it, and the kids think they're invincible. To them, [texting] is not distracting, they're so proficient at texting, that they don't feel it's distracted driving.

"I think every state should have the [texting ban] law. It might not make changes right now, but the younger generations it will be an educational tool, just like the seat belt.

"We all fought against seat belts, now, everybody wears seat belts.

The kids will be trained and learn from a young age that they can't text and drive."

Mrs Sauer added: "There was a time when we were all able to get into a car and drive, and listen to the radio or talk to our family.

"Now, we feel like we've got to get just everything done in the car, and I just think we need to be a little bit ... simpler."

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