Two years after General Motors executive Steve Kiefer lost his son, Mitchel, to a car crash, the Kiefer Foundation is making good on its promise to bring awareness to distracted driving incidents across the country.
Kiefer launched the foundation in his son’s memory after Mitchel died in a wreck on Michigan’s I-96 freeway. A 21-year-old woman crashed into Mitchel’s car at 82 mph after traffic slowed, but she failed to notice. The impact pushed Mitchel’s car into oncoming traffic where his vehicle was then hit by a tractor-trailer.
Since the crash and loss of his son, Kiefer and the foundation have already had an impact, the Detroit Free Press reported. The interstate has since been outfitted with a new cable barrier where the crash occurred. The foundation invested $300,000 to erect the barrier, which is actually less costly and more effective than concrete barriers. Since its build, the barrier has reportedly stopped six other cars from crossing into oncoming traffic.
The foundation also launched a charity hockey game earlier this month and a distracted-driving campaign to raise awareness. The campaign asks for submissions from high school students and other young people to explain how they would end distracted driving in a video clip. The winner will receive a $25,000 scholarship and runner-ups will win lesser amounts.
Kiefer’s foundation also brings crash simulators to schools or events to show how a distracted driving incident can quickly become fatal and change lives.
The goal is to reduce distracted driving crashes to a minimum, but Kiefer believes self-driving cars will ultimately be the solution that ends the epidemic.