A group of local citizens have come together to make a difference and to try to prevent a texting tragedy.
• According to research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted or inattentive driving has become a national epidemic, accounting for an estimated 5,474 deaths and 500,000 injuries in 2009.
• 16-year-olds are 3 times more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than the average of all drivers.
• 81% of teenage car accident deaths in 2008 were passengers
• Closer to home, in Iowa of the deaths to 14 to 17 year-olds, car accidents are to blame for 48 percent, compared with 40 percent for the same age group nationally.
According to an online survey of teenagers done by Consumer Reports, the following can be done to reduce distracted driving:
• "More education/awareness programs"
• "Adults don't discipline like it's a problem. . . they tell us do not drink and drive, but don't say do not use the phone" (See April 2011 Consumer Reports Article)
Consumer Reports also found that 78% of people they interviewed reduced or stopped behaviors related to distracted driving for the following reasons:
• 66%- I've read or heard about the dangers of distracted driving
• 44%- Laws that ban using a handheld cell phone and/or testing while driving
• 20%- Media campaigns.
(See April 2011 Consumer Reports Article)
What does IowaFADD.com do?We encourage students to agree to stop texting and talking on a cell phone while driving. We offer students in select cities (currently only Newton, Iowa) a $25 dollar iTunes or Hy-Vee gift cards and a $100 college scholarship for agreeing in writing to simply follow the law and quit distracted driving.
Who we are?We are a group of local concerned citizens who have seen firsthand tragedies caused by texting and distracted driving. Currently, members of our group are Corey and Beth Walker (local attorneys), Jeff Maki (a Newton area insurance agent) and Dr. Jay Koenen (a Newton Chiropractor). We want to make a difference in the lives of local residents because if we prevent even one tragedy the money spent will be well worth it.
This community project was the idea of Iowa personal injury attorney Corey Walker who has represented hundreds of Iowans injured and killed in car accidents. He has seen an alarming trend of car crashes caused by distracted driving such as texting while driving and talking on cells phones while driving. He decided to do something about this problem and formed a group of concerned citizens to develop and finance this community safety project. Yes, personal injury lawyers care about their community and can and do help people.
If you are a Newton, Iowa High School student with a valid driver's license, Click Here to sign-up to receive your $25 gift card.
If you are a Newton, Iowa High School student who has taken the QuitDD.com pledge, have graduated from Newton High School and it is between July 1 and July 31 then Click Here to obtain your $100 scholarship.