Distracted Driving Presentation Taken to Springfield High School
In a continuing effort to take the message of the dangers of distracted driving to students across the nation, Joel Feldman and Dianne Anderson spoke to students at Casey Feldman’s high school alma mater before school recessed for the summer. The presentation was introduced by Springfield High School (SHS ) SADD officer, Amrita Famachandran.
In the interactive presentation, students were made aware of the fact that distracted driving does not just involve cell phone use. Putting on makeup, changing a CD, eating, reaching for drinks or items in the car, taking your hands off of the wheel for any reason and simply taking your eyes and mind off of the primary task of driving, are all distractions that can result in deadly consequences. Students also saw firsthand, the negative cognitive impact of simply trying to carry on a cell phone conversation while driving. Many were surprised that having a cell phone conversation while driving is the cognitive equivalent to a blood alcohol limit of .08, or driving under the influence. Students also participated in role playing to become comfortable as passengers asking a distracted driver to stop their distraction, be it putting down a cell phone or a drink.
Acknowledging that distracted driving is not simply a teen problem, students took home forms to be signed by them and their parents, agreeing to eliminate various distractions while behind the wheel.
To bring the message close to home, students also viewed the “Faces of Distracted Driving – Casey Feldman” video prepared for the U. S. Department of Transportation by Joel Feldman. Many of the students knew Casey or had older brothers and sisters who went to SHS with Casey.
Said graduating senior Bridget Clawson, “The program you did today was fantastic. I think it really got through to the kids because it wasn’t all facts and statistics and telling them what to do. You and Mr. Feldman really put the ideas out in a personable way that almost made it seem like I was in a classroom! Thank you for sharing you story with everyone, I think you really got through to a lot of kids at SHS.”
Through the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation and its sponsored site EndDD.org (End Distracted Driving), over 40,000 students nationwide have seen the distracted driving presentation as a result of Joel Feldman organizing some 800 trial lawyers, judges, safety officials and friends to speak in their local communities. The beginning of the effort coincided with National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. Joel Feldman has personally reached some 4,000 students alone in Pa, NJ, CO and MD.
According to Joel Feldman, “Through bringing awareness of the issue to students and their parents, we are saving lives and keeping Casey’s memory alive. If even one life is saved, it is more than worth the effort”.