Moving into Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. With the increasing popularity of cell phones, texting and internet accessibility on our mobile devices, and the addiction to those devices, we are also seeing an unfortunately increase in the amount of deaths caused by drivers who cannot break from these devices while behind the wheel.

A recent report by the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, based on data supplied by all 50 states, shows that the number of 16 and 17 year old drivers killed in car crashes increased significantly in the first half of 2011.

Unfortunately teenagers and young adults in their twenties are the most at risk of being killed in a car crash.

Traditionally, groups such as Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) have advocate on behalf of safe driving against the potential dangers of alcohol and drug use behind the wheel. With the increasing distractions resulting from the endless capabilities of our mobile phones and electronic devices, we are seeing an increase in organizations dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving among young people.

Some of the recent players in educating students against the dangers of impaired/distracted driving include NODD.org, EndDD.org, DopeItAndDrive.com, FocusDriven.org, KidsAndCars.org, and NOYS.org.

NoDD.org,(No Distracted Driving) and EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving) were both founded by trial lawyers. Jeff Weinstein in Athens Texas founded the site after realizing what a potential danger distracted driving really was. Joel Feldman, of Philadelphia Pennsylvannia, founder of The Casey Feldman Foundation, and its counterpart, EndDD.org, learned the devastating consequences of distracted driving first hand following the death of his daughter Casey who was killed by a distracted driver in 2009.

NoDD, and EndDD have joined forces, along with over 800 trial lawyers across the country, to reach out to their community and offer a 60 minute presentation to high school students in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness month. NoDD and EndDD coordinated their efforts through 60forSafety, a private organization encouraging attorneys to give back to their community and present on various topics. 60forSafety offers turnkey presentations for lawyers with a busy lifestyle. 60forSafety’s End Distracted Driving Program is open to all lawyers, not just 60forSafety members. All presenters are volunteer and do not present any cost to the schools involved.

Like, NoDD, and EndDD, DropItandDrive is presenting to high schools students, but these presentations are north of the border. DIAD Founder, Karen Bowman, and a 27-year veteran fire fighter, Tim Baillie, work with local enforcement, emergency services and Young Drivers of Canada to deliver presentations with maximum community impact.

In addition to encouraging motorists to Drive Cell Free, FocusDriven.org also offers valuable services and resources for victims of distracted driving. Focus Driven is asking teens to take the pledge this April to drive cell free, and encourage their friends to do the same through the following tweets:

I care about your safety and I want you to #drivecellfree Help save a life – #drivecellfree Roadway safety is everyone’s responsibility – #drivecellfree This April, I’m honoring Distracted Driving Awareness Month by making the commitment to #drivecellfree
KidsAndCars.org covers is dedicated to making American and Canadian parents aware of all safety issues that involve kids and cars. In addition to taking part in 60forSafety’s End Distracted Driving presentation campaign. KidsAndCars is also dedicated to making parents aware of all of the features inside of the vehicle that can pose potential safety hazards for young children.

NOYS.org, the National Organization for Youth Safety, is comprised of youth volunteers committed to educating other students about safety and health. NOYS volunteers work together to promote youth empowerment and leadership and build partnerships that will save lives, prevent injuries, and promote safe and healthy lifestyles among all youth. NOYS encourages students to get involved through video making contests that offer monetary prizes or scholarships. In time for Distracted Driving, NOYS will soon be posting the finalists of
Project Yellow Light, submissions warning on the dangers of texting while driving.

With all of the organizations and great websites out there, there is no reason not to get involved. Parents, Educators, and Student Organizations are encouraged to look into free speakers in their area.

For more information on Hosting a presentation, please visit: http://60forsafety.org/host/

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