Atharva Kumthekar

Daily Point of Light # 5522 Jul 15, 2015

It may seem harmless, an innocent act such as texting, but that split second can be the difference in life or death. Unfortunately, texting while driving goes on everyday.

Atharva Kumthekar, a student at William Mason High School in Mason, Ohio, knows first hand the devastation that texting and driving can cause.

Two years ago, while Kumthekar was prepping for his learners permit, two incidences changed his life forever. Two of his classmates got into serious car accidents, one severely injured and the other fatal, both a result of texting while driving. From that moment on, Kumthekar has pledged to not only avoid texting and driving himself, but become an advocate to help eradicate it all together.

Kumthekar started the “Safe Teen Driver”organization(http://www.safeteendriving.us) The goals of the program is to increase awareness of the dangers of texting and driving, ensure certain regulations are followed to limit distractions on the road, and promote simple technology solutions.

picture-9_1.jpgAtharva is pictured with Mayor of Montgomery, Ohio, Todd Steinbrink

“My mission is to make this world a safer place, one driver at a time” says Kumthekar.

With over 15 community awareness events throughout Ohio, Kumthekar has reached out to over 4500 teens, whether in person or through multimedia platforms, and has secured over 400 pledges from teens to not text and drive.

While it may take great efforts to spread awareness and get everyone on board, the pointless act of texting while driving can easily be prevented. The amount of lives effected because of something as simple as a text is staggering.

“Texting and driving makes us 23 times more likely to get into an accident,”says Kumthekar. “This is the leading cause of accidents among teens resulting in eight deaths and over 1150 injuries everyday.”

It’s simple, and I’m sure Kumthekar would agree, texting while driving is not worth a life. 

 

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