I spoke at 3 high schools to about 1000 students this week in Oklahoma. Part of our EndDD.org presentation is working with students to teach them how to effectively speak up when friends or parents drive them distracted. We go through role play exercises, exploring with students the use of non-confrontational statements designed to maximize the likelihood of convincing the driver to stop driving distracted. We have students provide feedback on statements that would be helpful as well as statements that would just anger the driver and not be effective.
At each presentation I ask the students to e-mail me to let me know how the intervention worked. Here is a portion of an e-mail I received from a 15 year old at one of the school talks with photos supplied by the teen:
Hi! My name is … a 15 (almost 16!) year old freshman from … High School. You came to speak with us today about Casey’s story and encouraged us to help prevent tragedies like that for the future. Well guess what? You’re making a difference. This exact same day, my mom and I are headed to Enid, OK for my weekly lessons. When I looked up I saw she was driving distracted. I looked back down at my wrist which was where I had my EndDD bracelet since the assembly. I simply used your techniques and explained to my mom that she was driving distracted and I’d be happy to finish her text.
Distracted driving DOES happen. All of us do it. But (thanks to you) I will do my best to inform others and set an example for a responsible, respectful driver.
Thank you to this Oklahoma teen and all the others who are asking their drivers to drive without distraction. Teens are working all across the country to change the way we think about distracted driving and to save lives!!