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M. Brandon Smith
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Distracted Driving-We All Need To Help Stop It

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Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America's roadways. In 2010 alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. [Distraction.gov]

Distracted driving is becoming increasingly more common and contributing to far too many crashes. Several actions can be considered a driving distraction – such as adjusting the radio / GPS device or talking on a cell phone – when operating a vehicle.

An estimated 15 people are killed and some 1,200 injured each year in crashes that were reported to involve a distracted driver, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Studies have repeatedly concluded that using a cellular device while driving – hand-held or hands-free- delays the drivers’ reaction time similarly to be legally drunk.

Distracted Driving Safety Tips

When operating a vehicle don’t talk and/or text on your cellphone

Program your GPS device before venturing out so that you aren’t trying to figure it out on the highway, thereby distracted.

Avoid any activity that takes your eyes off the road – shaving, applying makeup, eating, looking for something and even talking to the other occupants.

Adults can be just as guilty as kids when it comes to using their phone behind the wheel. Parents need to set an example and turn off their cell phones before driving. Parents should watch this video about distracted-driving (YouTube) with their teens. It’s graphic and upsetting but that is the very point of the video.

The single most important way to end distracted driving is through education. Read the statistics, think about them and most importantly share them with your family, friends and teens. Together we can make a difference.

Visit Distraction.gov to learn about specific state laws governing the use of cell phones and hand-held devices while driving.

End Distracted Driving (EndDD)

In April 2012, hundreds of amazing trial lawyers will be educating more than 100,000 students during National Distracted Driving Month. Find out how you can join and help get the message out.

Distracted Driving – State Laws

Eleven states have enacted bans on texting while driving, while 30 states and the District of Columbia have also passed such prohibitions for all drivers.

While several states are banning texting and driving, Idaho is taking it one step further by adding a bill that would also apply to law enforcement officials. There have been many reports of law enforcement officers driving distracted, putting no only themselves at risk, but also the public.

Take a moment to visit The Casey Feldman Foundation. Casey, a senior at Fordham University and an award-winning student journalist, died July 17, 2009 at the young age of 21 after being hit as a pedestrian. More true stories of distracted driving accidents can be read on the EndDD Web site.

Turning tragedy into triumph, EndDD has since made a material impact on 10,000s of teenage and adult drivers alike in the name of Casey and others like her. Their efforts continue on a daily basis and we all benefit from their selfless acts in this regard. Plain and simple, this organization is making a material difference and saving lives. Because of this the law firm of Childers, Schlueter & Smith, LLC will be joining hundreds of other lawyers from around the country in a common benefit to help reduce and promote distracted driving awareness in April of 2012. 60 for Safety, http://60forsafety.org/, in conjunction with EndDD.org as denoted above is a very worthwhile program that we are delighted to be a part of and hope other lawyers and civil activists will join us in the days ahead.

For those not yet familiar with 60 for Safety yet, here is an excerpt from their website:

60 for Safety is our ongoing effort to kickstart a safety revolution.

The idea is simple — Give us 60 minutes, either as presenter or participant, and we’ll help you make the world a safer place.

Our presenters are the attorney members of The Injury Board from across North America, who volunteer their time, talent and financial resources to offer exciting and informative 60-minute safety presentations on a variety of topics to a wide range of audiences in their local areas.

Our participants are local schools, PTAs, civic groups and community organizations where we hope our safety messages are not just heard but shared with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers.

Our presentations are created around expert information and advice from our safety partners, non-profit organizations like EndDD.org, KidsAndCars.org and more who promote proven methods to end distracted driving, keep kids safe around cars, put a stop to bullying in schools, and other great ideas that help us create a safer world for the ones we love.

Anyone who would like to join us in this great endeavor can find more information at the web site: 60 for Safety, http://60forsafety.org/, where you can also sign up to join in this student awareness and safety movement.

1 Comment

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    Great post on the dangers of Distracted Driving. If you stop one person from using their cell phones and driving, you will be saving a life. Good Work.
    Jeff