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Girl Dies After Posting ‘Facebooking and Driving Not Safe’

An 18-year-old college student, Taylor Sauer, knew how unsafe posting to Facebook was while driving her vehicle. In fact, Sauer posted that exact sentiment in her final Facebook post before her death: “I can’t discuss this now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha.”

Sauer was operating her vehicle at 80 mph from Utah State University to her home Caldwell, Idaho and decided to talk with a friend about the Denver Broncos on Facebook during the four-hour drive. Not long after her final Facebook post, Sauer crashed into a truck traveling 15 mph up a steep hill and she was killed immediately.

Authorities conducting the accident investigation could not find any signs that Sauer tried to apply the breaks prior to the crash. They did find, after a lengthy search of her phone, that she had been posting on Facebook roughly every 90 seconds while behind the wheel.

Idaho State Police Lt. Sheldon Kelly said, “The text messages were both incoming and outgoing during her trip between Logan, Utah [and the accident scene]. In addition to the texting, there were multiple Facebook communications to and from Taylor Sauer during the minutes immediately prior to the crash.”

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The accident occurred on January 14 but her parents, Clay and Shauna Sauer, are still coping with her death and trying to find ways to have tragedies such as these prevented in the future.

“I think she was probably (texting) to stay awake, she was probably tired,” Taylor’s dad, Clay Sauer, told Ann Curry, the host of Today Show. “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.”

Sauer’s family has lobbied the legislators in Idaho to ban texting while driving ever since their daughter passed away from the accident. Idaho is one of just 13 states in the country that has not banned texting while driving. Shauna Sauer feels that Taylor would approve of such a law.

“This is what she would want us to do,” she said to Curry.

The driving while texting ban already passed in the Idaho state senate and it could reach the House of Representatives by Tuesday of next week. Clay Sauer, Taylor’s father, said that a ban would hopefully teach other drivers how dangerous texting while driving is. He also hopes that it can be taught at a young age, to the point that it can be compared to wearing a seatbelt.

“I think every state should have this law,” he added.

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