Distracted Driving Advocate Speaks with High School Students

Karen Torres speaking to students in the auditoriumOn Wednesday, January 11 Tamarac High School juniors and seniors attended a presentation given by Distracted Driving Advocate and Speaker Karen Torres. This visit was sponsored by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the National Safety Council and the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office.

In her presentation entitled “Distracted Driving Deadly Consequences,” Torres shared with students that texting while driving is the leading cause of death and accidents among teens ages 16-20. Distracted driving, including talking or texting on the phone, eating, applying makeup, looking up music, even for a few seconds, could have devastating consequences.

“As new drivers, now is when you pick up your bad habits while driving.” said Torres. “No text is worth the devastating consequences of killing someone.”

Students listened as she shared the personal story about her father Patrick Mapleson, who lost his life 11 years ago when he was struck by a cement truck. Her father was a member of a State Department of Transportation road crew filling potholes on a highway.

“This crash was 100 percent preventable,” said Torres. “The driver reached down for a fallen water bottle.”

Torres encouraged students to “Get your head out of your apps” while driving.  There are apps available that will shut off phones when a car is in motion, and a message will be sent to callers indicating the recipient is driving and cannot answer. Students were also encouraged to speak up, offer to text for a friend who is driving or take their phone and put it in the glove compartment.

Learn more about the organization ALL4UDAD that Torres created. Tamarac High School would like to thank the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, the National Safety Council and the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office for sponsoring this visit.