Teens learn powerful lessons on distracted driving - NBC40.net

Teens learn powerful lessons on distracted driving

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EGG HARBOR TWP. -

Students in Egg Harbor Township sat through a powerful presentation Monday on the dangers of distracted driving.

It's been almost four years since Joel Feldman's daughter was run over and killed by a distracted driver as she walked to her job on the boardwalk in Ocean City.

Now he dedicates his days to getting the message out of why it is so important to pay attention while driving, and students seem to be listening.

"It is a selfish decision to drive distracted it's a decision you shouldn't make," student Daniel Vaccaro said.

In Monday's assembly, students listened to Feldman's story and the pain he and his family live with everyday.

Students also saw videos about the grief drivers who have killed people deal with for the rest of their lives.

"Whenever I'm in the car with my friends I will be telling them not to drive distracted. I will take their phones or I will tell them to drop me off somewhere cause I don't want to die," Vaccaro added.

According to Feldman, a driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to have an accident.

However, Feldman says while cell phones receive a lot of attention, distracted driving goes even further than that.

"Eighty percent of fatalities have nothing to do with cell phone use so our message is a broad message. Don't reach objects. Don't put on makeup, don't program your GPS don't eat, don't have wild conversations, emotional conversations, so it's a lot more than just texting," Feldman said.

Feldman says its not just teens who are responsible for distracted driving.

"I'm speaking in schools but the message is for everyone. I get lots of emails from parents afterward they say my son or daughter came home they say mom, dad I'm worried about you two because of the way you drive, can we change the way we drive together as a family," Feldman explained.

Feldman's message against distracted driving will continue to be shared throughout New Jersey in the coming months.

Feldman says rather than demanding your teens not text and drive, studies show it's more effective for parents to instead ask their kids to make wise decisions while on the road.

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