FocusDriven the first national nonprofit organization devoted specifically to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving was formed recently.
The group will be led by Jennifer Smith, who has been an outspoken advocate against distracted driving since her mother was killed by someone talking on his cell phone while driving in 2008.
FocusDriven's new website, www.focusdriven.org, hosts information on distracted driving, help for victims and family members, and ways to get involved.
"It is my hope that FocusDriven will serve as a valuable resource for those who have lost loved ones as a result of the senseless and preventable destructive practice of distracted driving," said Jennifer Smith, President of FocusDriven who wants to eliminate this threat and prevent other families from going through what we have experienced.
FocusDriven is modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which has successfully changed society's attitudes towards drinking and driving with the use of advocates who have experienced the terrible consequences firsthand.
FocusDriven also hopes to provide support for victims of distracted driving, which has become a growing epidemic in our society, but also to expand its mission to include education and the evaluation of new technologies.
SHELLEY FORNEY. Fort Collins, Colorado. Her daughter Erica was
killed when a woman driving an SUV failed to see her riding her bike
home from school.
ROB REYNOLDS. Omaha, Nebraska. Rob lost his
16-year-old daughter Cady when a distracted teen driver ran a red light
and sideswiped her car.
JUDY TEATER. Spring Lake, Michigan. Judy was
taking her son Joe home from an after-school activity when a young
woman on a cell phone ran a red light and hit the passenger side of her
car, killing Joe. Since then, she and her husband David Teater have
become outspoken advocates against distracted driving.
Citra, Florida. Elissa lost her daughter, Margay, when a semi truck
slammed into the back of her stopped school bus.
Putting an end to
the dangerous practice of distracted driving is a top priority for
Secretary LaHood and the Department of Transportation. The department
recently launched a federal website, www.distraction.gov, with
comprehensive information on distracted driving, as well as a national
PSA featuring Secretary LaHood to raise awareness about this dangerous
Secretary LaHood said, "Just as groups like MADD
changed attitudes about drunk driving, I believe FocusDriven can help
raise awareness and change the way people think about distracted
driving. Together, I hope we can put an end to this dangerous practice."
more information about preventing distracted driving, please visit
www.distraction.gov, www.nsc.org, and www.focusdriven.org.
FocusDriven is a direct outgrowth of the September 2009 national
Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, DC called by Secretary LaHood.
Since the two-day meeting that brought together affected families, law
enforcement, researchers, public officials and others, family members
of distracted driving victims have worked to establish an advocacy
organization with support from the Department of Transportation and the
National Safety Council (NSC), a nonprofit organization that uses
leadership, research, education and advocacy to prevent injuries and