It's a story every teenager and every parent of a teenager should read.
Amanda Burtness of Devils Lake nearly drowned after she lost control of her vehicle trying to answer a ringing cell phone. Burtness, 18, was pulled from her vehicle, which entered a water treatment system holding pond on the edge of Devils Lake.
After being treated for minor cuts and a bruise near her eye, Burtness graduated from high school this past weekend as scheduled with her classmates, then went on dance team trip to Disney World in Florida.
The story could have easily had a different, tragic ending.
Burtness certainly isn't the only driver teenager or otherwise who has encountered trouble on the roadway because of a cell phone. We dare say it happens every day, although certainly not to the extent of Burtness' accident. But other, more minor, incidents are common. A driver on a cell phone missing a stop sign or a red light, weaving into another lane of traffic or otherwise endangering themselves or others because they're not paying enough attention to driving. And don't get us started on those who may be texting while driving.
If nothing else, Burtness' incident should serve as a useful tool for parents. And if teens don't want to listen to parents, perhaps they'll listen to Burtness. As someone who luckily lived through a cell phone-related accident, she could be a strong voice among drivers as to the dangers of combining driving and cell phones. We encourage her to speak out to her generation.