Distracted Driving Week 2019
NAPERVILLE, Ill. — Megan Kosak is in her happy place: in her room, on her computer and working on videos as she's surrounded by her favorite pictures.
From this place in her Naperville home, the budding producer warned thousands about the potentially fatal dangers of distracted driving, using her skills to take on what she calls one of her biggest "pet peeves."
"It’s a very big topic in today’s society... with how much we use our phones and how easily things can distract us," Kosak said. "I wanted to make the community more aware, people at my school more aware of the problem."
The Nequa Valley High School senior produced, shot and edited a 30-second PSA highlighting the very real consequences that can come when a driver's full attention isn’t on the road, as part of a competition hosted by AAA and the Naperville Police Department supporting Distracted Driving Awareness Week.
"I used my brother in the video and both my parents, and I was like, 'what if this happened to them?' I didn’t really want to imagine it," she said.
Megan also didn’t imagine winning the competition, but her video took first place and was played in movie theaters across the area over the holidays reaching more people then she ever expected.
One important fact included in the video courtesy of AAA's research: the passenger is the number one distractor for teens, not their phones. When the phone does come out, drivers remain distracted for another 27 seconds after they look at it.
That 27-second delay resonated with viewers and convinced some, like her parents Marina and Scott Kosak, to resist picking up their smart phones every time the urge strikes. Soon Megan will be a driver herself, so her parents say safety is a top priority.
"It scares you, 'cause you sit at a stop light and look around, and it’s not just teens; it's everybody," x said. "I’m sure we’ve all been guilty of it at times."
Megan heads to the University of Alabama this summer, where she will major in video production. She says she's proud to know the thing she loves to do could also help save the people she loves.
This post is part of an ongoing series about distracted driving and safety on the roads as Illinois observes Distracted Driving Awareness Week, aiming to save lives on the roads.