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Gursten speaks to Cranbrook Parents on Distracted Driving

January 12, 2018 by Steven M. Gursten

During presentation at Cranbrook School, attorney shares ways for parents and teens to stay safe and stay away from distracted driving


I’ll be speaking to Cranbrook parents on January 18, 2018 on the dangers of distracted driving.

The goals of my safety presentation include:

  • Teaching parents just how dangerous and deadly distracted driving is.
  • Teaching students skills for eliminating and avoiding distractions to ensure that they or other drivers can focus all of their attention on driving safely.
  • Helping parents to realize how important it is for them to model safe driving behavior for their teen drivers and children.
  • Debunking myths and rationalizations that many drivers tell themselves for why they think they can safely text or talk on the phone while driving.

Working with EndDD.org to stop teen distracted driving

Working with EndDD.org, I will be sharing a distracted driving presentation that has now been seen by nearly 400,000 teens across the U.S. and Canada, including over 7,500 high school students in Michigan.

Michigan Auto Law’s outreach to end distracted driving

In addition to presentations like the one I will give to the Cranbrook parents, Michigan Auto Law’s attorney outreach work includes our creation of the Kelsey’s Law Scholarship: Stop Distracted Driving Contest. With the support of Bonnie Raffaele, we offer the scholarship to honor both the life and memory of Bonnie’s 17-year old daughter, Kelsey, who lost her life in a 2010 cell phone-related car accident. Kelsey is also the name for the Michigan law known as “Kelsey’s Law,” which prohibits teen drivers from using a cell phone while driving.

Texting while driving and distracted driving have reached epidemic levels both in Michigan and throughout the country. Sadly, this crisis is getting worse.

I’ve talked about the seriousness of this issue many times on this auto law blog.

Indeed, the statistics paint a very scary picture:

  • Fatalities from distracted driving car accidents in Michigan jumped 50% between 2015 and 2016.
  • Injuries from auto accidents involving distracted driving increased 47%.
  • Overall distracted driving car crashes in Michigan spiked 70%.

Now, consider the statistics from an AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study concerning the role of distracted driving in teen driver-related car crashes:

“[Teen] [d]rivers were seen engaging in some type of potentially distracting behavior leading up to 58% of all crashes examined. The two most frequently seen driver behaviors were attending to passengers (14.9%) and cell phone use (11.9%).”

Something needs to be done now. Not only do we need to change our laws to treat distracted driving with equality severity to that of drunk driving (because the former is, at least, as dangerous as the latter), but we all need to change our personal thinking and behaviors.

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