As part of the Dori Slosberg Foundation’s driver education and safe teen driving program, Brian LaBovick of the LaBovick Law Group in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., speaks to local high school students every month about safe driving. He brings a legal perspective to the team that visits the schools and explains how one poor decision—involving DUI, texting, a passenger or other distractions—can affect a student’s life forever.
He explains that it is his job to ensure punishment for the driver who injures someone through distracted driving. He walks them through how their poor decisions can affect their families, and not just the families of the people they hurt. This could mean putting their own families in dire financial straits—including their college funds disappearing, their belongings and even their pets getting seized, and their wages getting garnished. “It takes no time to make a mistake in the car,” LaBovick said. “It’s important for them to understand that something that starts as a minor situation can quickly turn into a disaster. No one wants that for them.”
The team of presenters also brings together police and medical providers, and sometimes includes the victim of an accident, someone who has gotten out of jail after a DUI, a driving instructor, and a professional race car driver—who illustrates how dangerous it is to drive in everyday traffic. Driving on a typical street is more dangerous than driving a race car because of variables such as traffic flow and pedestrians to negotiate, LaBovick said. “We think it’s so easy that we don’t pay attention.”
The presentations have made progress. The number of accidents and deaths during prom has decreased for the schools the foundation has visited. The foundation has also made progress in pushing for safer driving laws, LaBovick said. The foundation’s mission is to educate the public and promote safe driving habits through the use of seat belts and the elimination of distracted driving (see dorisaveslives.org for more information).
LaBovick hopes that if the foundation can get its message across to students, it can help allow future generations to be safer on the roadways. He says that talking directly to the students has been rewarding. “When you donate money, you know it’s going to good use, but you don’t see it in the faces of the kids you help.”
[Editor’s note: LaBovick was a finalist for the American Association for Justice’s 2016 Trial Lawyers Care Award.]