Students Taking Proactive Measures to Reduce Distracted Driving
According to an online news report at gulfcoastnewstoday.com, the numbers are staggering: annually, over four hundred thousand individuals are injured and more than three thousand die (mainly young drivers) in accidents associated with distracted driving. While there are several governmental and nonprofit organization efforts to reduce distracted driving, a new direction has been pursued by young people to combat the growing problem of distracted.*
Several high school and college age students have been holding campaigns in order to influence young persons to sign a pledge that they will not engage in distracted driving and help to educate others about the risks associated with this dangerous practice. Recent student controlled programs took place this past spring at several educational institutions, including the University of Alabama, Elberta High School and Foley High School.
The campus wide campaigns started as a result of the death of a Syracuse University student who tragically sustained fatal injuries as a passenger in a distracted driving crash. His fraternity brothers, as a result of his death, chose to honor his memory by seeking to reduce the number of crashes, injuries and deaths associated with those who use his or her cell phone while driving.
The campaigns involve students who are asked to pledge not to use their cell phone when behind the wheel and to avoid other activities that take one’s eyes off of the road.
Following the Syracuse University student’s death, his family and friends have formed a memorial fund that provides grants to young innovators, and provides help to students, both in high school and college, to sign a safe driving campaign for school campuses.
The fund offers campaign kits which include various resources to help those in the campaign to encourage students to sign the pledge cars. According to recent studies, signing a pledge to not engage in distracted driving is nearly fifty percent more effective at changing driving behaviors.
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