Anything that restrains or controls distracted driving is important to every community. Education is key in making the public aware of the horrendous impact distracted driving could have on you and/or loved ones. In the Palm Beach County School District, Palm Beach Central High, Wellington High and Royal Palm Beach High schools, in coordination with various community organizations present Shattered Dreams, a dramatization of the impact of distracted driving and the effects that it can bring into anyone’s life.
The presentation of Shattered Dreams portrays the risk of engaging into other activities while driving. A Prom Night accident scene, where one of the most memorable nights of anyone’s life can turn into a life changing experience. Drama students play out as the accident victims on the football field to increase awareness about the effects that texting, substance consumption and other factors can have while driving.
In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an additional 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. The idea is to show young drivers the consequences, as close to real life as possible, of what can happen when you don’t focus when driving.
“This program is presented annually to the senior class just before Prom to remind our students to drive safely. Today’s decisions can have a lifelong impact,” added Mrs. Baxter, Student Activities Director. The percentage of drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes that were reported as distracted at the time of the crash is much higher. “This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who are distracted so we hope to increase awareness with this program.”
David Summers, Injury Prevention Coordinator at St. Mary’s Hospital works with the schools to bring the police, fire and trauma hawk services to the scene. In addition, Panther Towing, Bella Mia Premier Events Photography and the Dori Slosberg Foundation play an integral part in the organization of these events.
The next Shattered Dreams will take place at Royal Palm Beach High School on April 26, 2013.
Last year on March 10, the first National Day of Awareness for no texting and driving across America was held with a victorious message sent on the hazards of texting and driving and the steps that can be taken in hopes that no further lives will be lost by such actions.
This was a very thorough and well thought out endeavor worth everyone taking a look at and participating by pledging not to text and drive. Ross Brenner and Dalton Holody, students at Spanish River High School in Boca Raton, came up with plans for a National Day of Awareness for no texting and driving and no one imagined how this idea would instantly grow into a platform bringing together over 8,000 schools and millions of students across the United States. The purpose of the event for the students was to save fellow students' lives from a possible tragedy that could result from texting while driving
REF: PBCSD (Press Release) Public Affairs Office. April 2013.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
•Using a cell phone or smartphone
•Eating and drinking
•Talking to passengers
•Reading, including maps
•Using a navigation system
•Watching a video
•Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. On this page, you'll find facts and statistics that are powerfully persuasive. If you don't already think distracted driving is a safety problem, please take a moment to learn more. And, as with everything on Distraction.gov, please share these facts with others. Together, we can help save lives.
Key Facts and Statistics on Distracted Driving
• In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010.
• 18% of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
• In the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009.
• 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
• 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger.
• Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves.
• Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.
• Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.
• Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
• Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%.
TAKE THE PLEDGE
The fight to end distracted driving starts with you. Make the commitment to drive phone-free today.
Distracted driving kills and injures thousands of people each year. I pledge to:
• Protect lives by never texting or talking on the phone while driving.
• Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is distracted.
• Encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.
A Message From Secretary Lahood, U.S. Department of Transportation
Every single time you take your eyes off the road or talk on the phone while you're driving - even for just a few seconds - you put yourself and others in danger.
Distracted driving is an epidemic on America's roadways. You see it every day: Drivers swerving in their lanes, stopping at green lights, running red ones, or narrowly missing a pedestrian because they have their eyes and minds on their phones instead of the road. Yet, people continue to assume that they can drive and text or talk at the same time.
The results are preventable accidents. In 2010, 3092 people were killed, and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is committed to ending distracted driving, but we can't do it alone. So we created Distraction.gov to raise awareness and provide information to people who want to get the facts on the issue, get involved in their communities, and help make our roads safer for all Americans.
There's one message we hope everyone receives loud and clear: the safest way to get from one place to another is to hang up and drive. Powering down your cell phone when you're behind the wheel can save lives - maybe even your own.