FNL Students Work to Eliminate Distracted Driving Among Peers

Optimized-Roadwatch (1)

BAY POINT, CA (October 13, 2015) —Distracted driving is an unsafe habit and drivers near Riverview Middle School are visibly and dangerously demonstrating the need to improve their focus. Students recently monitored traffic for one hour at two intersections near the school and observed 70 instances of distracted driving.

Funded by a grant from, The Allstate Foundation, and administered through the California Friday Night Live Partnership, this student-led research mirrors the annual October study conducted by students across California for the past five years. Locally, students at Riverview Middle School recorded distractions that ranged from the ordinary- use of hand-held device and eating—to the extraordinary—reaching for an item behind them and not even looking at the road.

Motivated by what they observed, Riverview FNL members are mobilizing to implement campaigns in their schools and communities that aim to eliminate distracted driving among their peers and in their community. Campaign activities include: Casey’s Pledge, which speaks to drinking and driving, no texting while driving campaigns, etc.

During the time that Riverview students monitored driver behavior outside their school, the following distractions were prevalent:

• Use of Hand-held Device 36 times
• Use of Hands-free Device 14 times
• Eating or Drinking 12 times
• Reaching for an Item 4 times

Distractions Defined
More than just cellphone use, distracted driving is categorized by California Highway Patrol as a range of activities that impact a driver’s visual, auditory, physical or cognitive abilities when driving.

CFNLP and The Allstate Foundation originated this Roadwatch to raise awareness among adult and teen drivers and all communities about the importance of eliminating distractions while driving.

“Engaging California’s young people like this encourages their positive and healthy development and empowers them to become active leaders,” says Jim Kooler, California Friday Night Live Partnership Director. “Programs like our annual Traffic Safety Summit and this Allstate Foundation Roadwatch allow California youths to lead their peers in reducing distracted driving collisions.”

“Reducing distractions behind the wheel is something we all can do—it costs nothing and its savings are enormous,” urges Phil Telgenhoff, Field Senior Vice President of Allstate Insurance Company in California. “When we choose to drive more safely, we improve the safety of everyone on the road at the same time.”

Not Just Cellphones
Additional driving distractions observed by students during their local Roadwatch:
• No Hands on the Wheel 1
• Personal Grooming 2
• Loud Music 1

The California Highway Patrol recorded 116 traffic fatalities caused by distracted driving in 2009. In 2012 there were more than 3,300 U.S. traffic fatalities and more than 400,000 injuries due to distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Active in 54 counties statewide, the California Friday Night Live Partnership engages young people to become active leaders and resources in their communities.

For more information regarding the FNL program, please contact Isabelle Kirske at
925-349-7342 or isabelle@chd-prevention.org.

Written By: Isabelle Kirske
Edited By: Laura Pedraza