New Statewide Effort to Teach High Schoolers Dangers of Distracted Driving Kicking Off
Inaugural "End Distracted Driving" presentation is February 15 at the Church Farm School in Exton
EXTON, PA--Feb. 13, 2013: With approximately 11,000 daily accidents due to distracted driving -- and an untold number of "near misses" as drivers narrowly evade calamity -- the Pennsylvania Association for Justice (PAJ) is partnering with The Casey Feldman Foundation/EndDD.org and 60forSafety.org to educate high schoolers about how they can make better decisions while driving. The "End Distracted Driving" program, part of a national effort begun just over a year ago by trial lawyers across the country, uses video, written materials and participation exercises as it shows the difference even the smallest distractions can have on driving ability. The Pennsylvania effort will begin on February 15th at the Church Farm School in Exton. PAJ president Scott Cooper and Joel Feldman, a creator of the program will present.
"As trial lawyers, we have seen too many accidents caused by another's distracted driving. These injuries are devastating to the person, to their families and to the people who were driving distracted," said Scott Cooper, the president of the PAJ. "Anything we can do to help reduce the number of these accidents we should. This program is the single best way I've seen to make it clear just how important it is to remain focused while driving."
The national "End Distracted Driving" campaign began a year ago and has reached nearly 50,000 students with its pro-safety message. Among the materials to be presented on Friday will be a new video -- Just a Few Seconds--. The "End Distracted Driving" presentation has been described by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia as "unique in that it is scientifically guided, evidence-based, has webinar-based training components, i.e. 'train the trainer', and includes and evaluation process." (Just A Few Seconds)
The founder of the "End Distracted Driving" effort is Joel Feldman, a partner at the Philadelphia law firm of Anapol Schwartz. Attorney Feldman, who with his wife, Dianne Anderson, founded the non-profit The Casey Feldman Foundation and EndDD.org after losing their daughter Casey to a distracted driver in 2009.
"I began this program because of how important it is for every driver, but young drivers in particular, to understand that 'distracted driving' means more than just texting or talking on the phone and that any distraction, no matter how quick, dramatically impacts a driver's abilities," said Mr. Feldman today. "I have been amazed by how many trial lawyers have agreed to volunteer their time to educating teens, here in Pennsylvania and across the country. Our newest PSA , "Just a few seconds..." shows that each of us is only a few seconds away from being a distracted driver who kills or a family member who mourns the loss of a loved one."
At least 45 Pennsylvania attorneys have already committed to doing an "End Distracted Driving" presentation. The local effort is being led by Michael J. Davey, an attorney at Eckell Sparks in Media, Delaware County, along with fellow PAJ "Future Leaders".
"What makes the presentations so powerful is it clearly shows how easy it is to cause a real harm to someone simply because you turn your attention away from the road," said Attorney Davey today. "We've all either driven while distracted, or known someone who has. We don't think about it. Hopefully these efforts will make people think about it, and prevent more senseless tragedies."
The kick-off of the Pennsylvania "End Distracted Driving" campaign will be held at the Church Farm School in Exton (1001 E. Lincoln Highway, Exton, PA 19341, just off Rte. 202) on February 15 th at 11:20AM to 12:00PM and again from 12:05PM to 12:40PM. Media coverage is invited.