National Distracted Driving Coalition designates first ever National Do Not Disturb While Driving Day

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KBSI) – Joel Feldman’s daughter, Casey, was killed by a distracted driver in 2009. 

Now, Feldman is doing his part to advocate against distracted driving. 

“I was guilty of driving distracted before my daughter was killed, but it was her death that got me to change the way I drive,” Feldman said. “We don’t want it to take a tragedy for people to change the way they drive.” 

The National Distracted Driving Coalition has designated Thursday Oct. 20 as the first ever National Do Not Disturb While Driving Day to highlight the danger of cell phone use while driving and educate the public about the feature that can help drivers avoid distraction. 

“If we hear the phone, we’re going to pick it up,” Feldman said. “If we hear the notification, we’re going to grab it. We cannot resist the temptation. So, what’s the simple way to resist the temptation? Don’t hear it. If we set the Do Not Disturb While Driving settings, we’re not going to hear it, we’re not going to be tempted, and we’re not going to risk a crash. It’s really as simple as that.” 

Distracted driving claimed more than 3,100 lives in 2020. Eliminating those distractions by enabling the Do Not Disturb While Driving feature on your cell phone will make it easier to resist the temptation of checking your phone while driving. 

Even something as simple as reading a text could put you or others in danger. 

“We know that the average text message takes about four seconds to read,” AAA Missouri Public Affairs Specialist Nick Chabarria said. “At highway speed, your vehicle is travelling about the length of a football field in that time, so you’re essentially driving with your eyes closed for about 100 yards, which we know, of course, is extremely dangerous.” 

Feldman says there is no good excuse for driving distracted. 

“Each and every excuse that we give ourselves for driving distracted, there are thousands and thousands, and thousands of deaths attached to those excuses,” Feldman said.

So, by eliminating the distractions, we will no longer even have those excuses. 

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