Frat Loses Brothers, Gains Mission
Roadway Safety Adopted as a Cause by Syracuse Fraternity
When two members of one fraternity died in car crashes months apart, their brothers in Phi Kappa Psi stepped forward to prevent others from suffering the same loss they did.
This wasn’t how they wanted to find a charitable mission.
The brothers of Phi Kappa Psi at Syracuse University would have been perfectly happy to find a generic cause to support, one that didn’t have such a deep and painful connection. But having lost two brothers to car crashes just four months apart, taking on roadway safety was probably inevitable.
The fraternity initially started planning its Safe Driving Week at the New York state university after the death of Hunter Watson, 20, and a member of Phi Kappa Psi, who was killed in June. Watson was a passenger in a Jeep that went through a stop sign in Maryland. The Jeep was struck on the passenger side by a Ford pick-up truck, and Watson was pronounced dead at the scene.
In October, the group started forward with a week’s worth of events, including soliciting pledges to end distracted driving, holding a social media awareness day, accepting pies in the face in exchange for donations and hosting a Whiffle Ball tournament. But the week was cut short when another member of the fraternity was killed in a crash.
Vincent "Vinny" Maugeri, 22, died after his car went off the road and crashed and caught fire in an early morning incident. The fraternity suspended the last event of the week to grieve.
The 2016 event concluded with more than 1,000 signatures from other students pledging to end distracted driving, as well as more than $5,600 raised for the National Safety Council.
The fraternity is planning to repeat Safe Driving Week again in 2017, and hopes to raise both awareness and funds to remember the brothers that it lost in 2016.
You, too, can help NSC in its work to combat distracted driving. Give today at
nsc.org/donate and your contributions will be matched dollar for dollar through Chairs’ Challenge matching gift program during the month of April!
April Is The Time To ‘Just Drive’
Council’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month Campaign Offers Safety Resources
With April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month, organizations can take advantage of a variety of materials and messaging to help their people be safer behind the wheel.
Through its Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign, the National Safety Council is working to reduce deaths on the streets and highways by giving drivers everywhere the tools they need to “Just Drive.”
The Council is projecting that more than 40,000 people were killed on our nation’s roadways in 2016. This total is an increase of 16% since 2014, and the hike comes on the heels of an 8% increase between 2014 and 2015. That 16% rise is the largest two-year percentage increase in more than 50 years.
As transportation incidents are the most common cause of on-the-job deaths, this trend should be particularly unsettling to workplaces. But there are options. The Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign will offer through April a strong and steady flow of information. DDAM, with the theme of “Just Drive,” focuses mostly on distracted driving but includes some facts about drunk, drugged and drowsy driving.
Available resources will include social media messaging, posters, infographics, best practices and other tools that address how the use of cell phones or infotainment systems can be dangerous and even deadly. By downloading and sharing these materials, companies can demonstrate their support for focused driving while giving their employees the guidance necessary to keep them and their passengers safe.
The Council’s DDAM campaign is complimented by the NSC role in the Road to Zero Coalition. This organization – which includes the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration – is aiming to end all traffic fatalities within the next 30 years.
The nation’s roadways play a critical role in all of our lives. Using resources available through the Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign, organizations can address hazards and make themselves, their employees and their communities safer. Those resources, and more information, can be found at
contributions to the mission of preventing distracted driving will be doubled during Distracted Driving Awareness Month – please give today!
Sponsor of 2017 Distracted Driving Awareness Month
Google Assists NSC In Key Areas
Grant Helps With Ads, App Drives Fundraising
The National Safety Council is taking advantage of a grant from Google to raise awareness of NSC safety campaigns, while also using a new app to reach potential donors.
Google is providing NSC with a grant that will allow the Council to run ads in Google Paid Search that range from NSC membership and workplace training to Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This Google grant – along with access to the Google One Today platform – represents an in-kind donation of about $500,000 from the tech giant.
Google One Today matches interested potential donors with nonprofit organizations by linking initiatives to individuals who – because their friends or family have donated to similar causes – appear likely to donate.
NSC is grateful for this exciting new partnership with Google!
A Coalition Is Working Toward Zero
Join the Road to Zero Coalition and Make Roads Safer
The Road to Zero Coalition needs you to help eliminate preventable deaths on our roadways.
The National Safety Council leads the Road to Zero Coalition, and it is hoping you are ready to join. The organization includes the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and its goal is to eliminate all traffic fatalities within the next 30 years.
By joining the Road to Zero Coalition, companies and organizations can become part of a community with the common goal of safer travel. Members include companies, advocacy groups, government bodies, hospitals, insurance companies, first responder groups and universities. They collectively are part of a process of promoting behavior-change strategies and developing strategic plans for self-driving cars and human-vehicle-roadway communication.
One element of the approach is to promote proven lifesaving strategies, such as seat belts, rumble strips, behavior change campaigns and data-driven enforcement. The Road to Zero strategy also calls for development of a scenario-based vision on how to achieve zero traffic deaths, and the coalition further will oversee $1 million a year in grant for organizations working to make the roads safer.
Learn more about the Road to Zero Coalition