Elizabeth Hashagen finds out what happens when you become distracted while driving.
What people are saying about the presentations:
- “Normally I start texting as soon as I get in my car after the game, but after the talk today, I am not texting when I get in my car and leaving the wrist band in my car as a reminder” — from a cheerleader at University High School, Baton Rouge LA.
- “It was a fabulous presentation, well organized and certainly a most important topic that needs to be addressed in this fast moving technological world of ours. The girls thoroughly enjoyed hearing from all of the presenters and told me how much “it made them think”. One of the teachers told me yesterday that he thought it was the best assembly that we have had!” —Chris Kaiser, Dean of Students, Notre Dame Prep, Towson, MD
- “[Thank you to John McKiggan for speaking to ] our Grade 9 students. Your message of the awful consequences of distracted driving was heard by our students and staff. The videos really engaged them and made them think. The demonstration of a distracted driver and what students/passengers can say was perfect! Many students returned the sheets and I therefore know they had a conversation with their parents/guardians.” — J.W. Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- “ I presented to 450 sophomores at my alma mater, St. Xavier High School, in Cincinnati, the largest, all boys Jesuit high school in the US. It was a grand success and I had a wonderful time... the President and development director have already asked me back next year. The energy and feedback were incredible and powerful.”— Mark Kitrick. Esq Cincinnati, OH.
- “ Prevention is ultimately the primary "cure" for the devastating injuries we see. This message has the potential to prevent many of the pediatric spinal cord injuries that happen in this country; this message needs to be delivered and acted upon. ”—Occupational Therapist, Shriner’s Hospital, Philadelphia.
- “ I just finished with my second high school today. My overall feeling is that this a powerful presentation. It seemed to be very well received. The kids were completely silent during the segments on Neil Comer’s granddaughter and Casey Feldman. Those seemed to be the two most impactful parts of the presentation. I want to do a lot more of these, because I do believe it will do some good.” — Steve Williams, Esq Indianapolis, IN
- “WOW! What a refreshing experience! Today is one of those days where you feel good about what you do and even better about what you have done knowing that you might just have saved a life. The kids were really excited and participation was excellent. One of the most rousing responses came when I fessed-up to being a distracted driver in my past. I made the confession in my opening remarks and it was smooth sailing from there. ” — George Boath, Esq. Stratford CT
- “ I just presented to Nichols School's Upper School students and feel completely charged from the experience. The kids loved the message and the faculty couldn't have appreciated it more. It's great to volunteer with this incredible initiative.” —John Bair, Milestone Consulting, LLC, Buffalo, NY.
- “ Please let Bryan Slaughter know how much we appreciated his presentation. It has improved the way each of us approach using our phones while driving. The day after the presentation, I was driving and thought of someone that I needed to call, started to reach for my phone, and remembered Bryan's presentation. I put my phone away, with a mental message to make that call when I stopped. ” — Don Wheeler, President, Albemarle County Rotary Club, Charlottesville, VA.
- “ In a few days, I’m getting my license and I’m not going to be a distracted driver. My mom will text and drive a lot and it freaks me out. If something is that important, have the passenger text for you. ” —Gabby
- “ I spoke at Andrew Jackson Senior High in Jacksonville, Florida. One young lady, watching the bus driver filling out papers and driving with his knees, said “My mama does that.” (Frankly, that surprised me.) She became my assistant, holding the microphone up to the AV equipment so it could be heard by everyone. The teachers stayed in the auditorium and were very pleased with the level of participation. ” —Wayne Hoganl, Esq, Jacksonville, FL
- “ I spoke to several students about the role-play scenario you did on stage, and they all agreed they find it difficult to confront their parents about texting while driving. Thank you so much for bringing such a poignant issue to our community. I work with teenagers all day, so I know that decision making is often very difficult for them. Your compassionate and thoughtful presentation has changed behaviors. ” —Joel Dankoff, Student Council Advisor Friends' Central School,Wynnewood, PA
- “ After the presentation a student came up to me and thanked me for coming to the school. He then shared that his parent had killed someone when driving distracted. He shared his feelings from the perspective of a young man who watched the aftermath of the tragedy his parent caused and indicated how that changed his parent’s driving behaviors and how that has affected this young man—who does not drive distracted now. ” — Chris Marzzacco, Esq. Harrisburg, PA
- “ Went great! [Spoke to] sixty students from the alternative high school. Looking forward later this month when we hit all 5 of the area public and private high schools. The program is certain to change behaviors and the way that people look at distracted driving. We made a definite impact on our students, but I think we also got the attention of the teachers who saw the presentation. Thanks again for your help, and for putting this program together.” — Mike Williams, Esq. Fargo, ND
- “ Young people often are reluctant to speak up because they do not have the words to do so. The role play scenarios empower young people by providing them with the tools to advocate for themselves when they are put in an unsafe situation such as driving with an individual who is distracted. ” — Mark Fifer, The Haverford School, Haverford, PA
- “ I felt when the young drivers were sharing their own poor choices this was very helpful to the cause—the students were pretty attentive; participated and shared experiences; and were respectful. I wasn’t sure at first if they’d open up, but they did. I should add that the videos about Mr. Feldman’s daughter and the sister speaking of her text to her older sister at the time of a fatal wreck were powerful and made a true impact on the kids. ” —Tim Pickell, Esq Westwood, Kansas
- “ The presentation made me realize that all those little things while driving make a big difference. When you are driving distracted you not only put your life at risk but everyone around you. I want to do something to stop these deaths and it has to start with myself. I’m going to make an effort to not let myself be distracted and to let others know too. ” — Morgan
- “ Yesterday after school my mom was texting while she was driving and I told her to put her phone away whenever the kids are in the car. And now this morning she left her phone at home when she was driving us to school. Thanks for saving lives! ” —Alfaro
- “ I thought it was a really powerful assembly. She wasn’t there to yell at us, but rather spoke from experience about how terrible distracted driving can be. ” —Amanda Librizzi, Manasquan NJ
- “ Young people understand, deeply, that cell phone us while driving needs to be "de-normalized" and even stigmatized. Young people want to be supported and encouraged in using their voices to "speakup" to others, including their parents, when they feel unsafe about distracted driving. They need information, support and encouragement from us to do this. ” —Scott Blumenshine, Esq. Chicago, IL
- “ Getting into a car or bus with anyone who is not a concentrated driver is putting yourself at risk no matter how experienced the driver may be. And you should let the person know that you don’t feel safe and offer to text for them or ask them to put their phone, makeup, IPod anything that is the distraction away. It can happen to anyone. ” — Hanna
Students & Drivers So Far
EndDD.org’s Awareness Initiative has reached more than 209,199 in 41 states.