I was privileged to hear presentation from Ben Pohl recently on Distracted Driving on 1/26. In 1997, Ben was driving his VW Bug with four good friends when he became distracted with socializing and crashed the car. They were not wearing seatbelts. Ben was thrown out of the car and received the worst injuries. Not expected to live, he was in a coma for a month and in the hospital for 6 months. He required 2 years of rehabilitation and is still affected to this day. His friends all survived as well, although they also still face various issues from the memory of that day.
Distracted driving is a serious and growing issue. Nationwide, accidents due to it are up 10%. With the modernization of cell phones, apps that can be used on “the go” and our busy lives, that number will likely increase unless we all decide to make a commitment to not be distracted while driving.
AAA now says that Distracted Driving accounts for 25-50% of all car accidents. (!!!!) In 2014, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 people were injured. That means that 8.7 people are killed a day which is 261 a month (1 airplane a month). Way too much!! (Of course, even 1 life is too much!) Texting while driving increases the risk of crashing 23 times more than drunk driving.
Although he holds an MBA, Ben has recently returned to school to follow his dream of becoming an auto mechanic. Due to his car accident, his other dream is to make an impact and spread the word about the devastation of distracted driving. His father was a lifelong Rotarian and Ben is a former member of the Woodridge Rotary Club. He speaks to schools and clubs regularly about his experience and is always seeking more speaking opportunities. He does not charge for his services but you can donate to the cause or learn more about him at Ben Pohl speaks.