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DOT Videos Put Real Faces on Victims of Distracted Driving

Posted on March 11, 2011

They are the faces that tell the real human toll of the act of driving distracted. Whether reaching for a ringing cell phone, turning on the radio, turning around to talk to someone in the back of the car, even arguing while driving, all constitute distracted driving and all can result in a few precious seconds that mean the difference between life and death. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray La Hood has just released the latest video in the series “Faces of Distracted Driving.”

In 2009, distracted driving killed 5,500 people and injured a half million more. Behind the numbers are real people whose lives are torn apart because of a motorist texting or talking behind the wheel. No message or call is worth the risk. Put your cell phone in the glove compartment when driving so you aren’;t tempted to use it, LaHood encourages.

Loren Vaillancourt’s, 21-year-old brother, Kelson, was killed in a 2009 distracted driving crash in Huron, South Dakota. He has just finished his junior year in college and he was a passenger in a car being driven by a friend to go count birds in a field. The driver failed to stop at a stop sign and pulled in front of a semi. Kelson was taken to a Sioux Falls hospital and the CAT scan showed his brain injuries were catastrophic. Loren said her brother’s death was 100 percent preventable and before it happened, she didn’t realize how big a problem distracted driving was. Speak up, she says, to any driver who is texting or driving distracted.

See the other “Faces of Distracted Driving” at http://www.distraction.gov/faces.

Following a few safety rules, such as restricting your own cell phone use while driving, could save your life and the lives of others. Unfortunately, unlike other states, Florida does not currently have any restrictions on cell phone use while driving. The Florida car accident lawyers at Fatah & Farah encourage everyone to put aside the cell phone when you buckle up to avoid becoming a statistic.