Distracted Driving Education in Glenwood Springs
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, sponsored by The National Safety Council (NSC) and FocusDriven.
The goal is to make people think about the fact that it takes only a fraction of a moment of distraction to become a statistic. According to the NSC, 1.6 million accidents a year are directly attributable to cell phone use and texting. And that does not cover other types of distraction behind the wheel — like the guy I saw eating with one hand and texting with the other while driving on the highway yesterday afternoon.
Colorado law prohibits texting by all drivers and bans cell phone use by drivers under the age of 18, and the vast majority of other states have enacted similar or stricter laws against distracted driving. Despite this national trend, a survey from Consumer Reports revealed that 63 percent of drivers under 30 reported recent use of a handheld phone while driving, and 30 percent admitted to texting.
There have been myriad campaigns and actions taken to raise people’s awareness of just how deadly this problem is, including a staged rollover accident last Friday outside of Roaring Fork High School in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Emergency vehicles and crew participated in the dramatization in an attempt to accurately portray the deadly chaos of a car crash. John Stroud, a reporter for the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, gives us a snapshot of the event:
Friday’s dramatization, sponsored by area fire and police agencies, depicted a distracted teen driver who wrecked with his carload of friends while texting and driving. One of his passengers died, and another was paralyzed for life.
Additionally, Stroud reports, the students watched a similarly themed video:
Students watched the video, ‘The Last Text,’ which told the stories of young people who have been killed or severely injured as a result of accidents involving a driver who was texting and driving.
‘Four little letters, ‘yeah,’ that’s what killed my sister,’ said the sibling in the video, who had sent the message that resulted in her sister’s fatal accident.
Hopefully, these educational initiatives will help teens in Colorado and across the country not just realize the perils of distracted driving, but actually compel them to avoid picking up that cell phone behind the wheel.