Are You Guilty of Distracted Driving?


Emma Give

Joel Feldman wears bracelets honoring many boys and girls who lost their lives to distracted driving. Each bracelet has its own story that Mr. Feldman sees when he looks at his wrists.

On Monday, May 7, Mr. Joel Feldman presented the importance of being a safe and alert driver to the James Buchanan Faculty and students. He used his own personal experiences to leave a lasting impact.


Being a distracted driver could be dangerous to yourself and others around you. Being on cell phones, eating, looking out the window, and even changing the radio station can make you a distracted driver.


Emily Palmerchuck (11), who is a teen driver, admits to sometimes being a distracted driver, even when she tries not to.  


“My parents like to know where I’m going and when I’m leaving places,” said Palmerchuck. ”So if I forget to text them before I leave, I’ll call them or text them using the voice recognition.”


Throughout Feldman’s presentation, he explained that car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers and that distracted driving is no joke. He used videos and statistics to make everyone see his points.


“I think he reinforced ideas and opinions that I already had and really showed the importance of not being distracted,” said Palmerchuck. “Even if you’re doing things that you don’t think distract you, like talking on a cell phone instead of texting.”


Feldman also expressed caution to passengers of distracted drivers. He stressed the importance of using “I messages” when confronting drivers about your safety. For example, tell the driver, “I feel uncomfortable when you text and drive.”


“The part that impacted me the most was when he asked, “Would you tell your friend and family?” said Palmerchuck. “On your own you can do it, but sometimes it’s harder to tell your friends because you don’t want to upset them.”


Another eye opener of Feldman’s presentation was his personal experience concerning the death of his daughter, Casey Feldman. Casey was killed at the age of 21 by a distracted driver who hit her as she was crossing the street. Mr. Feldman shares her story to raise awareness to people all over the world.  


To honor Casey and help stop crashes and deaths of distracted driving, her parents created The Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation. Mr. Feldman also passed out pink and black bracelets to students at James Buchanan to remind them of Casey’s story and to always drive safe.


Many people are aware of the dangers of distracted driving but the real question is: what will it take to make it stop?


Palmerchuck says, “ From the things we’ve listened to, read, and seen, we know nothing is important enough to injure or kill someone because you’re distracted.”