Greensboro, NC -- Every time we get behind the wheel, we face choices that could be life-changing. WFMY News 2 hopes you'll choose not to use your cell phone while you're driving.
To demonstrate why it's important for you to make that choice, we held our Drive To Survive event Saturday morning.
About two dozen people got behind the wheel of a car and took to our obstacle courses as instructors from Street Safe worked to distract drivers with loud music, text messages and conversation. It was a morning of lane-changes and sudden stops with the hope that the drivers will make a U-turn away from distracted driving.
"Too many people are dying on the roads and it doesn't have to happen," said Tom Wiecek, whose insurance agency sponsors Street Safe.
No matter who you ask, the answer is going to be the same. Everyone who helped make WFMY News 2's Drive To Survive happen agrees distracted driving has to stop.
"If we can just get one person to make a conscious decision to make better choices while driving, it's all worthwhile," said Daryl Reynolds. His sons were killed by a distracted driver on Mother's Day.
Drivers who buckled up and barreled around our obstacle courses heard that message over and over.
"It's really eye-opening," Wiecek said. "Fortunately, we can do it here in a safe environment. But if you take these same lessons and put them out on the road, it really proves how quickly something can happen if they're not paying attention to the road."
The message seems to have gotten through to the drivers.
"I didn't think [texting while driving] was a problem at first," said Courtney Contee, a senior at High Point Central High School. "I just thought it was cool because everybody [does] it."
Now Contee is going to try to get her friends to stop texting and driving.
"It's very important," she said. "I've got a lot of friends who try to text and drive, try to be cool. But they need to know. It's very important."
It's also important to WFMY News 2's partners at Crumley Roberts Attorneys at Law.
For Chris Roberts, the importance of putting the brakes on distracted driving hit home as he sat across the table from a man whose wife and kids were killed by a driver who wasn't paying attention.
"Things like that impact you and affect you," said Roberts, president and CEO of the law firm. "And I didn't want to sit there and have to do that again, because I have kids. And I didn't want to see that happen to anyone else."
Those at our Drive to Survive event also found out about a new cell phone feature that could keep you safer on the road.
'Zoom Safer' is for smart phones. It will disable your cell phone when your car reaches more than 15 miles per hour.
"The software kicks in, disables the phone," said Stephen Keaney, who demonstrated the product. "If someone were to send you a text or a phone call, they would immediately get sent to a voicemail that lets them know you are driving. They also receive a text on their phone that also states you are driving and will respond to them."
WFMY News 2