Driving while using the phone

Driving while using the phone 

SHELBYVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- One man is making it his mission to bring awareness to distracted driving after his daughter was killed at the age of 21.

On July 17, 2009, Casey Feldman was working a summer job before her final year of college. She was studying to become a reporter.

“She was walking in a cross walk, and a 58-year-old man reaching for his GPS took his eyes off the road," said Joel Feldman, Casey's father. "He rolled through a stop sign, he hit her, literally ran her over and then said he never saw her."

Casey died a few hours later.

While she was never able to report and tell other's stories, her dad is telling hers. He spoke to a group of Shelbyville teenagers and their parents Monday night.

“I want kids to know that it can happen to them,” Feldman said.

He has the wristbands to prove it.

“I could talk to them about statistics, or I could show them something that represents a lot of other dead kids,” Feldman said while rolling up his sleeves to reveal the dozens of colorful wristbands.

Feldman has a pink one for his daughter. All the others are from parents he's met. Some of the kids were victims, while others were the distracted driver. Feldman even admits that before Casey died, he too drove distracted even though, as a lawyer, he represented people killed by distracted drivers.

“That didn't change my driving at all, because I thought I was different," he said. "I could handle it."

But when Casey was killed, everything changed.

“I realized that I was being a hypocrite, being angry at the man who killed my daughter," Feldman said. "And that began the process of me changing the way I drive and wanting to do something in Casey's memory."

That's why he started End Distracted Driving, or EndDD.org.

In Kentucky there are about 80,000 crashes every year.

“The No. 1 cause of those collisions is distracted driving," said Jared Smith, the district Vice president for the Kentucky Justic Association. "It used to be drunk driving, but that's not the case anymore."

Feldman wants young people to know those crashes don't have to happen.

“They're all preventable," he said. "And I want them to speak up when they see their friends driving distracted. Friends don't let friends drive drunk. We need to do the same with distracted driving."

That way, they can live to tell their own stories like Casey never could. Last week would have been her 31st birthday.

Distracted driving not only includes texting and driving but also eating, drinking, putting on makeup or anything else that takes your eyes off the road.

Feldman has given 750 talks to up to 150,000 teenagers and their parents across the United States.

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