Posted by John Halbleib on Jan 04, 2018
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data, 37,461 lives were lost on U.S. roads in 2016, an increase of 5.6 percent from calendar year 2015.  Although the overall rate increased, distraction-related deaths (3,450 fatalities) decreased by 2.2 percent.  Ben Pohl survived a distraction related accident in March 1997.
On Thursday, January 4, 2018, Ben Pohl presented his personal experience with "Distracted Driving" and its profound and lasting impact on his life (and those close to him). 
“As a driver, I was not distracted by a cell phone but rather from joking and laughing with four occupants in my car.  This took my focus off driving and I crashed my car.”
In March 1997, Ben was in a terrible crash in his 1973 VW while driving on Iowa’s I-80.  In his VW Bug/Beetle were four of his best friends.  Ben spent a month in a coma and then spent six months in painful rehabilitation; today he still has many physical challenges which were caused by his accident.  He emphasized that other people in the car are at the top of the list of distractions, followed by cell phones, texting, reading books, seeking radio stations, and many other distractions from the major focus at hand for the driver – the safe operation of the vehicle.  One of his video clips noted that: "The use of a cell phone while driving increases your chance of getting into a crash by 400%”  Ben closed by saying that he is passionate about the issue and would like members to refer him to other groups to speak on the dangers of distracted driving.  You can contact Ben at:
Pictured below from left to right are Ben Pohl and Tony Huemann (Club Member and Fire Chief – McHenry Township Fire Protection District)
Watch this video regarding Ben's short story: