This morning our students were part of a distracted driving presentation by the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. The presentation was interesting and informative. There are also some scary statistics related to distracted driving. I found these on the End Distracted Driving website:
- 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6% from 2015 (data not yet available for 2017) NHTSA
- 10% of fatal crashes and 15% of injury crashes in 2015 were distraction-affected. NHTSA . (The NSC estimates that cell phone related crashes alone accounted for 27% of 2015 car crashes – let alone other distractions)
- In 2015, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 injured in crashes involving distracted drivers NHTSA
- The fatal crash rate for teens is 3 times greater than for drivers age 20 and over (IIHS), with driver distraction responsible for more than 58% of teen crashes AAA Foundation
As an adult watching the presentation, I found it most fascinating when one of our students said, my dad gets mad at me when I tell him not to drive distracted. WOW! I initially didn’t really think the presentation related to me as an adult. I quickly realized that distracted driving pertains to ALL OF US. A point made clear by today’s presentation.
While some of the videos were a little corny, they actually made some strong points that kids understood. I thought this one made the biggest impact. After watching the video, the presenter asked, “Why wouldn’t you text during a game?” Student answer, “You have to stay focused on the game.” Presenter: “Why wouldn’t you want to be focused when you are driving?” SILENCE. Point made.
Tomorrow, we will meet as a school in the same book groups we met with at the beginning of the year. This will allow all of us to take part in the discussion while reinforcing some of the important points of the presentation. If you would like more information, check out the End Distracted Driving website.
Thank you to HWRHS Student Government for bringing this presentation to HW!