The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that teenagers “and their cell phones are often inseparable,” but students at U-High in Baton Rouge “got a lesson on how crucial it is to put those phones away while driving.” Joel Feldman, “who lost his 21-year-old daughter Casey in an accident in 2009, spoke to students about the consequences of distracted driving,” which “doesn’t just mean texting or talking on a cell phone – it also means eating while driving, putting on makeup, arguing with a passenger, messing with the stereo or a variety of other bad habits.” Feldman, “a personal injury attorney from Philadelphia, has given his presentation on distracted driving around the country” and has “brought together other lawyers to volunteer to spread the message through his organization End Distracted Driving. Burton LeBlanc, a local attorney and president of the American Association for Justice, helped coordinate the trip to Baton Rouge, the first time the presentation has been given in Louisiana.”
The Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate reports that in 2009, Feldman’s 21-year-old daughter Casey “was killed as she was crossing the street, struck by the distracted driver of a delivery van.” Feldman, “who has given versions of his presentation to about 100,000 people around the country, came to Baton Rouge at the invitation of local attorney Burton LeBlanc,” who “attended LSU Lab and has four children who have gone there or are still attending the school.” Feldman “spoke to LSU Lab’s high school students in grades 10 through 12, the ones old enough to drive,” and “offered a slick mix of statistics, interactions with the audience, promotional videos and skits to try to get the teenagers’ attention, targeting not only the students but their parents. ‘I go around the country and see that many parents are not being good role models for their kids,’ Feldman said.”
Study reveals dangers of daydream driving. Popular Mechanics reports that “when the Erie Insurance Group studied 65,000 fatal crashes over a two-year span (2010–11), its researchers found that one in 10 were attributed to driver distraction, and 62 percent were blamed on daydreaming—five times as many as talking or texting on a mobile phone.” Popular Mechanics notes that the study was based on a nationwide database, kept by the NHTSA, “called the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, or FARS, that tracks all vehicle deaths.” Popular Mechanics offers tips for minimizing daydream driving.
From the American Association for Justice news release.