Western North Carolina high schools to get distracted driving videos aimed at reducing car accidents

Asheville, North Carolina car accidents and traffic accidents elsewhere in western North Carolina could be reduced by free educational videos from AAA, which are being distributed to school districts in an effort to educate young motorists about the dangers of distracted driving.

As we reported last week on our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog, teenagers often ignore the dangers of distracted driving, including text messaging and using a cell phone while behind the wheel. Nationwide, 6,000 motorists are killed and more than 500,000 are injured in crashes caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Teens are at greatest risk.

Taking the message to teens at school is just another way to get the word out.

“Traffic accidents are the number one killer of teenagers, and texting while driving is a painful contributor to this cultural epidemic,” said Tom Crosby, president of the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety. “The anti-texting message needs presentation in as many ways as possible ¬ graphic to statistical to anecdotal – to reach young, inexperienced and text-happy drivers.”

The effort comes in the wake of the death of a Buncombe County teenager who police say hit another vehicle with trying to retrieve a text message. Schools will have access to a 30-second public service announcement, a 4-minute video and a 30-minute video.

Counties receive the material include Buncombe, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania and Yancey.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate is considering a bill that would reward states for passing tough new laws on cell phone use while driving. The bill would reward states by issuing grants from $94 million in surplus federal highway dollars. And the U.S. Department of Transportation has convened the second annual Distracted Driving Summit, which is scheduled to occur next month in Washington D.C.

If you have been injured in an accident, the North Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith offer a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965. Serving North and South Carolina, including Spartanburg, Hickory and High Point.

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