National Distracted Driving Awareness Month + National Teen Driver Safety Week
This year, October marks National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 18-24). The National Safety Council created National Distracted Driving Awareness Month to bring awareness to an issue affecting the lives of many, distracted driving. Distracted driving is the leading cause of avoidable deaths. Both the NSC and Lutzie 43 focus our efforts and initiatives towards the education and awareness of distracted and impaired driving. For the Lutzie 43 Foundation, our story begins with Philip Lutzenkirchen. His legacy is the inspiration for how our foundation works each day to make a difference.
Philip Lutzenkirchen was a student-athlete at Lassiter High School and Auburn University, yet his impact on the world went far beyond football. He was a loving son, brother and friend. He was kind, generous and someone who went out of his way to help others. Philip had a large presence in Marietta, Georgia, where he grew up and at Auburn University. On June 29, 2014, Philip was a passenger in an avoidable crash that took his life, leaving behind family and friends. Philip was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from the vehicle. He was just 23 years old. Though Philip has departed from this world, his legacy will never be forgotten.
Stories like Philip’s are far too familiar in today’s society. Just in 2018 alone, distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives. Distracted driving is one of the fastest-growing safety issues on the roads today. Distracted drivers aren’t just a threat to themselves; they’re a danger to everyone else on the road. The National Safety Council’s efforts and the Lutzie 43 Foundation focus on changing drivers’ behavior through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education.
You can help bring awareness and change to distracted driving by having conversations with your teen drivers. Give them some tips to practice safe driving methods and create non-distracted driving habits.
- Put your phone out of reach. Your hands should be on the wheel, not your phone!
- As a passenger, speak up if the driver starts texting or talking on his phone.
- Create a parent-and-teen driving contract with rules and consequences for breaking the rules.
- Before new drivers get their licenses, discuss how taking their eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, could cause injury or death.
Pledge to be a safe driver this month, and create safe driving habits that will last a lifetime. Encourage your family and friends to take our 43 Key Seconds safe driving pledge. As the Lutzie 43 Foundation continues to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted and impaired driving, the change starts with you. Remember our 43 Key Seconds initiative and take 43 to be distraction-free. Ensure you have a clear head, clear hands, clear eyes and always click your seatbelt before starting your car.
You can also purchase a safe driving tool for yourself or your loved ones. Our physical 43 Key Seconds key serves as a reminder to all drivers that they need to prioritize safety behind the wheel. By keeping this key on your keychain or in your car, you are constantly reminded of how to be a safe driver and Philip’s story.