Activist works to raise awareness for distracted driving

Activist works to raise awareness for distracted driving
(Source: AP Graphics Bank)

(KAIT/KARK) - It's a frightening statistic in Arkansas and across the nation, distracted driving claims more than 3,000 lives per year.

But it's not just texting, it also includes eating, talking to people, putting on makeup, or anything that takes your eyes off the road.

According to KARK, one Arkansas woman works tirelessly to face the problem head-on.

Michele Paden is the founder of FADD, Families Against Distracted Driving.

Her reason for fighting, her nephew was paralyzed when he was a passenger in a vehicle accident on Aug. 31, 2013.

His friend was distracted by his phone.

Michele teamed up with several state legislators to strengthen the distracted driving laws in Arkansas.

Their work paid off in April when Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson signed a new distracted driving bill that increased penalties if you are caught.

Michele works with local law enforcement officers, like Eddie Elliot, to now bring accident re-enactment programs to high schools.

Michelle and Eddie are pairing up with the Mountain Home School District for "the last dance" re-enactment accident scene.

Students will see the actual aftermath of a crash, medical personnel, and police, ending with a funeral.

They'll also hear from families who have lost someone to distracted driving.

She hopes this demonstration will make them think twice about texting while driving.

To read more about Michele's story, click here.

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