CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – As phones continue to get smarter, it seems drivers are becoming less so. That's the word from Chappaqua resident Robert Greenstein, who says texting is just one of several deadly distractions drivers today face.
What is your biggest distraction while driving?View Results
What is your biggest distraction while driving?
Texting or talking on my phone.33%
Changing the music on my CD system or iPod.17%
Reaching for food or a drink.17%
Looking at my GPS.17%
I rarely get distracted while driving.17%
Greenstein, a member of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, spoke to more than 200 Horace Greeley High School students and parents Tuesday night in a continued joint effort with the national "End Distracted Driving" campaign.
Distracted driving is not just texting or using your cellphone, he said. Just a few seconds spent changing the music or reaching for a drink can cause drivers to lose control, Greenstein said.
After highlighting past tragedies in which distracted driving has resulted in a death, Greenstein encouraged teens to commit to safe driving to prevent accidents.
“Distracted driving is responsible for thousands of deaths every year,” said Greenstein.
“I and other trial lawyers at NYSTLA believe it should be a priority to prevent these fatal accidents before they happen. Working with young drivers proactively to become ambassadors for safe driving has already increased awareness of this serious problem and helped prevent serious accidents,” he added.
The distracted driving campaign was started by Pennsylvania trial lawyer Joel Feldman after his 22-year-old daughter Casey was struck and killed by a distracted driver in 2009. The campaign focuses on a PowerPoint presentation containing the stories of victims of distracted driving and engages students on improving their own driving.
Trial lawyer associations from across the country have joined the End Distracted Driving campaign. Nearly 50,000 students across the country have viewed the presentation.
“NYSTLA members see firsthand the devastation that can result from inattentive driving and how much it would help if people focused on safety,” said Michael Jaffe, president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
“This makes us the perfect fit to discuss these issues with others. NYSTLA is taking part in this program to give back to our community, to help make it safe and to try to prevent unnecessary and harmful accidents," he said.
"Educating teens about the dangers of distracted driving is one of the best ways we've come across to help make that happen. We’re trying to stop the disaster before it happens."