Speaker talks to classes about the perils of distracted driving

For the sophomores in Janet Rathjens’s health classes, driving a car is probably about a year away. Something for them to look forward to – the independence and freedom.

However, they learned today that careening around in a car is a responsibility that comes with an urgency to pay attention to driving and what you are doing behind the wheel.

Shannon Pennock, an attorney from New York City, traveled to Scotia-Glenville today to talk to health classes about distracted driving. Her friend, Joel Feldman, lost his 21 year old daughter Casey in 2009 to a distracted driving accident.

She will visit Scotia-Glenville again this spring to talk to the second batch of health students who will take the class at that time.

Her presentation was on behalf of End Distracted Driving, a nonprofit begun by Feldman after his daughter’s death.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed or injured by distracted drivers. Learn what you can do to become part of the solution.

While many think of distracted driving as cell phone use, it is much wider than that.

The EDD website makes this point: Distractions can be visual (taking eyes off the road), manual (taking hands off the steering wheel), or cognitive (taking mind off the road). While texting and talking on the phone are both mental and physical distractions, cell phone use is attributed to 18% of fatalities in distraction-related crashes. What makes up the other 82%? Putting on lipstick, reaching over to grab a drink, changing the music, reading a roadmap, eating on the go. The distractions are endless. But they don’t have to be.

The core mission of EndDD is to preserve life and promote safety on a large scale through advocacy, education, and action. EndDD.org can arrange a distracted driving speaker to come to your workplace, school or organization to talk about the danger and prevention of distracted driving. It is our hope that we can prevent families and friends from suffering the loss of a loved one because of distracted driving.

Here are a few photos from her visit. Click on the image to enlarge it.