Distracted Driving Victim Calls for Action this Father’s Day

ITASCA, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The U.S. Department of Transportation today released a new “Faces of Distraction Driving” video featuring Charlene Sligting-Doud, victim advocate for the National Safety Council. Sligting-Doud’s father, John Sligting, was killed June 13, 2007 when his motorcycle was cut off by a teen driver who blew through a stop sign while talking on her cell phone. Sligting-Doud urges drivers to make the commitment to drive cell free in honor of Father’s Day.

“My father was a hero to many,” said Sligting-Doud. “He served in the military, he was a firefighter and he was an amazing father. Losing him devastated my family. People need to put their cell phones down and focus on the task of driving. Don’t spend Father’s Day sharing memories – spend Father’s Day making memories.”

The National Safety Council estimates more than 100,000 crashes per year involve texting drivers. Another 21 percent – 1.2 million crashes – involve drivers distracted by their cell phones. Driving while using a cell phone requires the brain to multitask – a process it cannot do safely. Drivers focusing their attention on cell phone conversations instead of the road have a tendency to “look at” but not “see” up to 50 percent of the driving environment – missing critical information such as stop signs, red lights and pedestrians.

“John Sligting was a beloved father and grandfather whose life was cut short because of distracted driving,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “I applaud Charlene for all of the work she is doing to raise awareness about this deadly epidemic, and I hope that everyone who hears about the loss of her father will remember to keep their eyes on the road, their hands on the wheel, and their focus on driving this Father’s Day weekend.”

Charlene Sligting-Doud manages the HEARTS Network at the National Safety Council. HEARTS, which stands for Honoring Everyone Affected, Rallying the Survivors, shares the stories of those whose lives have been changed by crashes involving teen drivers. Anyone interested in learning more about HEARTS should visit, nsc.org/hearts.

The National Safety Council (nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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  1. I could even tell how many close I had with people talking on the phone. A month ago a man was pulling boat trailers on state road 70.(maryland) Merge in front of a truck why because he was on a cell phone.Now I was behind him, if he had gotten hit. I would had been right in the mix.

  2. What we need is a law like they have in Europe, that addresses any type of inattentive driving. Most police vehicles now have dash cams which could show evidence of dangerous driving, whether it was caused by , eating, babysitting, texting, surfing the net, talking, reading the newspaper or a book while operating a motor vehicle. This law would need to be enforced with the same vigor as speeding and DUI, and carry the same fines as reckless driving, simple because inattentive driving is causing as more accidents than speeding or DUI .

  3. I don't think that it is so much the age of the driver but it is the CELL phones that they try to use/text with while driving that is the big problem !!! With all the technology there is now days looks like they could put something in the cell phone that would not let it work while it is moving faster then a walk, that would take care of about 80% of the problem…

  4. States are allowing children to obtain a drivers license much too early…they should be at LEAST 17 or 18 before they are allowed to drive alone without an adults' supervision. Just look at the statistics of underage accidents and victims of same.

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