POSTED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 4:30pm
UPDATED: Friday, September 13, 2013 - 4:38pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — Car crashes are the number one killer for teens in the U.S. A majority of those crashes are caused by distracted driving. A dad, who lost his daughter in a distracted driving crash, talked with U-High students in Baton Rouge Friday hoping to change the way they drive.
With so many distractions, like cell phones, radios, GPS systems, Joel Feldman hopes by telling his daughter's story, he'll save lives.
"This is a picture of my daughter Casey who was killed by a distracted driver in 2009," Feldman said. "So since her death, we've been traveling across the country and talking to teens about distracted driving."
Feldman said before his daughter died, he used to do distracting things while driving, but he said her death was a wake up call.
"Everyday, I think about the senselessness and the futility and the fact that every distracted driver accident, including the one that killed my daughter, is 100% preventable," Feldman said. "That's one of the themes of the presentation. Distracted driving is something we can change."
That's why Feldman came to U-High to help teach the students about the dangers of distracted driving.
"Every time I talk to teens across the country I'm more and more optimistic that they're going to change it, just like the way drunk driving is no longer socially acceptable," Feldman said. "One day, with all their help, distracted driving will no longer be socially acceptable."
John Luther has not started driving yet, but Luther said when he does, he'll be more safe.
"I thought it was great. I thought that the statistics that they brought up were really interesting, and it got me really thinking about what needs to be done about this situation," Luther said. "It's going to prepare me for what I need to do, and that way I won't develop bad driving habits and I can start developing the good ones that I need to keep."
Burton LeBlanc has helped feldman to spread the word, and Leblanc thinks it's working.
"I'm so proud of the work that Joel's doing as a trial attorney, but also the volunteers that have spoken to over 100,000 students in this country," LeBlanc said. "So we're here to create an awareness in the community, and hopefully make our state safer."
Feldman said he's spoken to more than 20,000 students across the country. Friday's visit to U-High was his first stop in Louisiana.