Boyne City High School junior and student council vice-president Kelsi Churchill recently briefed school board officials on student efforts to make the roads safer.
A Michigan State Police “Strive for a Safer Drive” (S4SD) grant to help reduce instances of distracted driving will be utilized by the Boyne City High School Pride Team.
“The Pride Team is involved in creating a ‘Distracted Can’t Drive’ campaign which aims to make students, staff and the community aware of the effects that distracted driving can have,” Churchill said during the Monday Jan. 11 Boyne City Public Schools Board of Education meeting.
“We will begin these events with a school-wide assembly on Jan. 28 with several activities and events to follow.”
Distracted driving includes: driving a vehicle while texting, using a phone, talking, reading maps, using navigation systems, watching videos, adjusting the stereo, eating and personal grooming.
The initiative’s events will include a public service announcement and poster contest for Boyne City High School students, an assembly hosted by the Boyne City Police Department, a visual activity illustrating the statistic that nearly every 15 minutes someone in America dies from distracted driving accidents.
There are also other events planned including a pledge-signing for people to promise they will not drive while distracted, and driving skills informational sessions.
Key Facts and Statistics from distraction.gov
• In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
• As of December 2013, 153.3 billion text messages were sent in the U.S. every month.
• 10% of drivers of all ages under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
• This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
• Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes.
• At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010.
• Engaging in visual-manual sub-tasks—such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting—associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices increased the risk of getting into a crash by three times.
• Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.
• Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use.
• A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive.
• 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.