Central Ohio area legend Dom Tiberi of WBNS-10TV appeared at Madison-Plains High School Wednesday afternoon to present “Maria’s Message” to students and encourage them to take the “Maria’s Message” pledge.
The speaking engagement was co-sponsored by the Madison County Sheriff’s Department and Erie Insurance.
Maria was the 21-year-old daughter of Tiberi whose life was tragically cut short the night of Sept. 17, 2013.
The fatal car accident was deemed to be caused by an unknown distraction.
As a way to honor his daughter and potentially save untold numbers of young lives, Tiberi started “Maria’s Message.”
Car crashes are the number one killer of young people ages 8-24, according to Tiberi, and the majority of these fatalities are caused by distracted driving.
Distracted driving comes in a number of forms from eating, fiddling with the radio, and putting on makeup, to texting, talking on the phone and goofing with passengers — anything that might take a driver’s full attention away from the road.
Daydreaming accounts for as much as 60 percent of distracted driving car crashes Tiberi said.
“Keep your eyes on the wheel and your head in the game,” he told the students.
Of particular concern for students in the rural school district are the long stretches of unlit country roads, where deer can appear without warning.
He encouraged the kids to take the “Maria’s Message” pledge. It reads:
“I pledge to keep my hands on the wheel, keep my eyes on the road, keep my mind on my driving. If I keep my hands, eyes, and mind where they should be, I can keep myself safe and keep ‘Maria’s Message’ alive.”
So far, over 80,000 kids have taken the pledge.
Reach Andrew Garrett at 740-852-1616, ext. 1616.
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