Nearly 200 students from West Hempstead High School gathered to hear New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) member Ken Hoefer speak on the dangers of distracted driving on Friday morning.
Hoefer spoke to the general assembly as part of NYSTLA’s involvement with the national End Distracted Driving campaign.
According to the NYSTLA, distracted driving is not just texting or using your cell phone. Just a few seconds spent changing the music or reaching for a drink can cause drivers to lose control.
Hoefer highlighted past tragedies where distracted driving resulted in the loss of life and encouraged teens to commit to safe driving to prevent accidents. He urged students and parents to spread information to others.
“I consider it an honor to have the opportunity to speak to the next generation of drivers on this matter because it impacts all of our lives,” he said. “The Distracted Driving program is something that will change your driving habits.”
The distracted driving campaign was started by Pennsylvania trial lawyer Joel Feldman after his 22-year-old daughter Casey was struck and killed by a distracted driver in 2009.
“NYSTLA members see firsthand the devastation that can result from inattentive driving and how much it would help if people focused on safety,” said Michael Jaffe, President of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. “This makes us the perfect fit to discuss these issues with others.
"NYSTLA is taking part in this program to give back to our community, to help make it safe and to try to prevent unnecessary and harmful accidents," he added. "Educating teens about the dangers of distracted driving is one of the best ways we've come across to help make that happen. We’re trying to stop the disaster before it happens.”
The campaign focuses on a powerpoint presentation containing the stories of victims of distracted driving and engages students on improving their own driving ability.
Trial lawyer associations from across the country, including Rhode Island, Indiana and Pennsylvania have joined the End Distracted Driving campaign to educate teens on safe driving. Nearly 50,000 students across the country have viewed the presentation.