One of our clients, Steve Richardson, forwarded a tragic message to us from the father of a young woman, Nikki Kellenyi, who was killed in a distracted driving accident. Steve had blogged about the accident on his Foster website, and Mike Kellenyi had written to thank Steve for speaking out and trying to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and his daughter’s unnecessary death.
Mike Kellenyi didn’t want his daughter to have died in vain. As his wife Gina put it, “We can't let this happen to anyone else. No one should live with this pain. Let's see if we can try to end distracted driving so other families won't have to suffer like this. Let's name it People Against Distracted Driving."
People Against Distracted Driving (PADD) is gaining traction. On April 14, 2013, Nikki’s Law (named for Nikki Kellenyi) was signed into law by New Jersey governor Chris Christie. The law—which PADD hopes to make a federal law—tells the Department of Transportation to put more signs up and use Variable Message Signs to warn the public of the dangers and laws of distracted driving.
We were so moved by Mr. Kellenyi’s story that we wanted to try to help. This is where you come in.
Here's how you can help:
- Check out and “like” People Against Distracted Driving (PADD) on Facebook.
- Share our distracted driving infographic on your website and on social media (see bottom of page).
- Blog about distracted driving on your website—or, if you already have content on this topic, freshen it up. Ask yourself: is it as compelling as it could be? Could it possibly save a life?
- Remind your social media followers about the dangers of distracted driving. Post to your firm’s Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts. You can link back to distracted driving content on your website or post a news story from your local area about this topic. Don’t just do it once; this should be a regular reminder.
- Encourage people to take the pledge on the distraction.gov website.
- Verizon Wireless’s Don’t Text & Drive Program.
- Take a pledge to drive phone-free—and encourage your friends, family, and followers to take the pledge—at Hupy.com.
- Tell us what you’re doing to save lives by spreading the word about the dangers of distracted driving! We want to profile our clients’ good work on this topic, so email [email protected] if you have a great story to share.
Here are some talking points to get you started:
- “Distracted driving” is engaging in any activity that takes your attention away from the task of driving for any period of time. It isn’t just texting and driving or talking on the phone with driving!
- In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in a distraction-affected crash and 421,000 people were injured. That is about nine people killed every day, and over a thousand injured each day.
- At any given moment in America, 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones or another electronic device.
- Reaching for your phone, dialing, or texting increases your chances of crashing by three times.
- Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds...the equivalent of driving the length of a football field at 55 mph, blind.
- Remember: nine people have lost their lives today because of distracted driving, and nine more will lose their lives tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. Please speak up and do everything you can to save these lives in your community.
Another friend and client of ours, Hupy and Abraham, has also joined in the cause. The attorneys at Hupy and Abraham understand the importance of this campaign on a personal level, moral, and professional level. To put it in perspective, they ask, "Are text messages worth risking your life or those of others? Would you feel safe sharing the highway with a blind driver?" The team at Hupy and Abraham know the value of supporting a cause that also supports their practice. They are offering free "Don't Text and Drive" bumper stickers as well as creating video, a pledge, and content about distracted driving.