Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (R-Merrick) recently held a roundtable discussion at Lindenhurst High School for students to help raise awareness about the growing problem of distracted driving.
Senator Fuschillo was joined on a panel by Jacy Good, who was permanently injured and lost her parents in a crash caused by a distracted driver; Trooper Frank Bandiero of the New York State Police; and Kristen Curran, a Senior at Lindenhurst High School. Students from Ms. Dowd’s law class, all of whom have driver’s licenses, viewed the panel discussion and participated in a question and answer session as part of the event.
The interactive discussion helped to raise awareness about distracted driving and the dangers associated with it; discussed current laws and technology available to prevent distracted driving; and explored ways to help further prevent distracted driving.
“Distracted drivers put everyone’s safety at risk. Modern technology enables us to communicate with one another almost whenever and wherever we want, but it endangers lives when drivers pay more attention to a text or email than to the road ahead. This was a great way to help raise awareness about this growing problem and hear students’ suggestions about how it can be prevented in the future,” said Senator Fuschillo, Chairman of the Senate’s Transportation Committee.
Distracted driving is a serious and dangerous problem. Distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to crash than drivers who are not distracted. Additionally, research has shown that sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. That’s the equivalent of driving 55 miles per hour down the length of an entire football field blindfolded. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than 100,000 drivers are texting while driving nationwide at any given daylight moment.
Statistically, young drivers are by far the most likely to text and drive. Nearly fifty percent of drivers between the ages of 18 and 24 admit to texting or emailing while driving, according to the U. S. Department of Transportation.