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Letter to the Editor: Distracted Driving By the Numbers

Girl Scouts Troop #41059, a group of fifth graders at Skokie School in Winnetka, has developed a life-saving campaign called JUST DRIVE, which is designed to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

Dear Readers,

I am a Junior Girl Scout in Troop #41059, and we are telling you to JUST DRIVE. Did you know:

  • 3,092 LIVES were lost last year because a driver was distracted?
  • According to experts, a distraction of only 2 SECONDS greatly increases the risk of a crash?
  • 5 SECONDS is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting? When traveling at 55 mph, that’s enough, time to cover the length of a football field. 
  • A person using a cell phone while driving is 4 TIMES more likely to have a crash? 
  • Eating, smoking, and attending to music or GPS devices while driving can be JUST AS DANGEROUS as texting, emailing, or talking on a cell phone.

I myself have experienced a car accident caused by distracted driving. Driving on the highway with my mom and my friend, a car came along and the driver was talking on his phone. The driver ran straight into the back of our car, and our back bumper came off! Fortunately no one was hurt but we were lucky, it could have been a lot worse. So I am asking everyone to JUST DRIVE. No cellphones. No distractions.

Kelly Bertram
Junior Girl Scout
Troop #41059

Heather Pigott May 21, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Marie - I am Kelly's troop leader and I wanted to let you know our troop will be disributing magnets and information during Winnetka's Memorial Day Parade on May 28. Look for our booth at the corner of Lincoln and Elm. We are also holding a car wash at Winnetka Presbyterian June 2 10:00-1:00. Hope to see you there!
Marie May 21, 2012 at 09:33 PM
Hi Heather, Thanks for the information, I will definitely stop by your booth! I was toying of getting a magnet made that says, "Put Down Your Phone," but "Just Drive," sums it up really well, and applies to distractions other than phones, too. Marie
Susan Bertram May 21, 2012 at 10:30 PM
Way to Go Kelly! We are so proud of you and your troop's efforts!
Bonalynn Wallach May 21, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Thank you Kelly for making all aware of this serious problem...you are a special girl!! Bonalynn Wallach
Dan Pritzker May 22, 2012 at 12:21 AM
I don't need anyone to tell me how to drive. The USA tells us enough what to do. I will call, text, eat when I drive. If I get a ticket I will pay it on my smartphone as I drive.

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