NO, I don’t have a fancy website and NO, speaking is not my business. Speaking out on the dangers of distracted driving is a personal passion of mine. My distracted driving crash was my personal game/life changer. As the driver in my crash, I was not distracted by a cell phone or the GPS but from joking and laughing with my four friends in the car. Communicating with other people in the car is the #1 distracter to the driver in this day and age. Giving my attention to my friends in car and not focusing on the road was just long enough to lose control, crash and change my life forever.
If you’d like me to share my experiences with you, at your place of work, at your school, family or a group you are involved with, please get in touch with me… I am based in Chicago. I customize each presentation in order to ensure that my message is understood by everyone.
I speak at schools, community organizations, company events, clubs etc. Reach out and let me know where you want me to speak…
CONTACT EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org
Can you believe that each day in the United States, over 11 people are killed and 1,161 are injured in car crashes that involve a distracted driver? Have you heard the crazy statistic that the odds of crashing increase 23x when texting while driving? These odds make distracted driving same if not worse than drunk driving! Add to the fact that 95% of us admit to having used our cellphone while driving at some point and you have an endless supply of lives damaged or cut short. There is also the AAA statistic saying that 97% of all crashes are driver error, 3% are because of a malfunction of the automobile. Distracted driving crashes are already up 14% from the last two years – this is definitely a growing problem. The statistics about the dangers of distracted driving keep coming —
I think we can all agree that I am not your father…I tell adults and kids this when I speak with them. I am not saying to never speak to anyone else in the car – not to listen to the radio – etc. I am realistic. I know there is only so much people can do. I know that there are numerous things in the vehicle that can distract a driver from focusing on the road: eating / drinking while driving, messing with the radio / navigation, small children, pets, rain, things outside (gapper delays) and so on and so forth. I push kids and adults to think about those things and to try to consciously NOT let those things be distractions….they CAN control and have the power. The cell phone is the #1 distracter in my book that can be controlled – especially with the younger “technologically proficient” generations.
*Check out my testimonials under the PRESENTATION TESTIMONIAL PAGE in the right column*
My distracted driving story: I am Ben Pohl and am guilty of being a “distracted driver”. I paid a great penalty at a young age (17). My penalty was spending two years relearning how to walk and speak. Take a moment to watch some of my videos below that will give you a more robust story and what happened to my four best friends. It was a horrific crash. No one should have made it. I essentially came back from the dead – the ER doctors were sure I would not make it through the night. I am now older and have made it my mission to make sure that people are aware of the risk and consequences so that they don’t end up like I did or worse. Distractions are not just part of driving – they encircle life and if allowed into our lives, ensure we end up places that we don’t want to be…I focus on my own life and how distracted driving changed my life. I am determined to make a positive out of such a negative life event.
I am working hard to reach out in my area and speak with as many schools / students as possible. The value of preventing possible injury / death is so great – the only issue I am running into is how to fund all of my travel to schools. I set up a GoFundMe page below where I can collect small donations to help drive my cause.
My short video story…
My tragedy really opened my eyes and allowed me to see life in a different way. What am I doing in life? My crash put me on a journey to raise awareness about all kinds of distractions and to seek other non-traditional routes in life. Life is an immensely interesting thing to navigate. Focus is essential – keeping your eye on the prize. Questions arise such as what makes you happy, what are your goals and how are you going to get there… my primary story revolves around distracted driving, but that is only one of many things I can speak about.
When I tell people what I do now – they simply shake their head and smile;)
I recently finished obtaining my two year automotive technology certificate at a local community college (College of DuPage). I am currently enrolled in the Southern Illinois University – goal to obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Automotive Technology. This is my career path to owning my own automotive performance and repair shop. My schedule is flexible and I go out of my way to speak to groups when requested. Travel is no big deal for me.
The saddest part that I want to change is that people generally don’t change their behavior unless one of two things happen.
- Distracted drivers get in a horrible car crash and sustain serious injuries
- Distracted drivers are hit hard in their wallets – meaning that they are caught on their phone for instance and fined $500+ each time.
The combination of minimal speaker fees and donations help me spread awareness of distracted driving to more people…
Thank you note from one of the high school instructors…
“Ben recently spoke at our Gilbane building safety day. I’ve had several responses since remarking on how powerful the presentation was and the impact it has made on people. Being in the building trades we often focus on construction safety. Ben’s presentation really hit home as it is something we are all effected by in our daily lives. I’m grateful Ben has taken the time to share his story and made this topic a passion of his. Best wishes for your future Ben!
Stacy Brooks – Gilbane Construction Company – (5/14/2019)
“I have scheduled speakers for the Kiwanis Club of Aurora for three years and I must say that Ben kept everyone’s attention better than most programs! He has a way of engaging people from the very beginning. He asks important questions and isn’t afraid to make people a little bit uncomfortable as they think about their own driving habits. Everyone has a purpose in life… Ben has really discovered his and it’s so nice to see him giving back after his horrendous accident. Thanks, Ben!”
Amy Roth – Aurora Kiwanis Club – (3/5/2019)
Wheaton North High School – Sept. 16
West Chicago High School – Oct. 16
St. Charles East High School – Nov. 15
Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance State Convention – Nov. 21
Metea High School – Dec. 13
Glenbard North High School – Dec. 16
Ameren Energy Company, West Liberty Middle School, West Chicago Junior High, Carol Stream Rotary Club, West Liberty Rotary Club, Woodridge Rotary Club, Bartlett Rotary Club, Roselle/Bloomingdale Rotary Club, Wheaton North High School (1000+ students), Lisle Rotary Club, Downer’s Grove Rotary Club, Batavia Rotary Club, Rotary Club of Chicago / OHare, Elk Grove Rotary Club, Schaumburg / Hoffman Estates Rotary Club, Elgin Rotary Club, Oakbrook Rotary Club, St. Charles Noon Rotary Club, South Elgin High School, Rotary Club of Glenview – Sunrise, Rotary Club of Mt. Prospect, Lake Park High School, Lombard Rotary Club, Wheeling Rotary Club, Glen Ellyn Rotary Club, Wheaton Rotary Club, Westmont Rotary Club, Arlington Heights Rotary Club, La Grange Rotary Club, Western Springs Rotary Club, Villa Park Rotary Club, Skokie Valley Rotary Club, Burr Ridge / Willowbrook Chamber of Commerce, UPS Safety Conference, Buffalo Grove Rotary Club – The LOUDEST Rotary Club, Palatine Rotary Club, RotaryONE Chicago, FUSE Youth Group, Darien Rotary Club, Algonquin Rotary Club, Lakeview Rotary Club, Geneva Rotary Club, Deerfield Rotary Club, Silver Fox Club of St. Charles, Dundee High School, Northbrook Rotary Club, Deerfield High School, St. Charles – Breakfast Rotary Club, Wheaton – Warrenville South High School, Rotary Youth Conference, Kaneland High School, Rotary Club of Chicago – Financial District, Glenbard East High School, Naperville Lions Club, Des Plaines Rotary Club, Barrington High School, North English High School, Bolingbrook Rotary Club, Bethlehem Woods Retirement Community, Metea Valley High School, Elgin Breakfast Rotary Club, Aurora Rotary Club, Barrington Noon Rotary Club, Park Ridge Rotary Club, Elmhurst Lions Club, Highland Park Public Access Television, Wheaton North High School, Central DuPage Rotary Club, Arlington Heights Sunset Rotary, Kiwanis Club of Villa Park, Kiwanis Club of Lombard, Hinsdale Rotary Club, Romeoville Rotary Club, DuPage Township Senior Center, Orland Park Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club of Glenview, South Elgin High School, Bartlett Lions Club, Lake Park High School, Elmhurst Jaycees, Elmhurst Rotary Club, Glen Ellyn Lions Club, Elk Grove Lions Club, Dundee – Crown High School, Roselle Lions Club, Wheaton – Warrenville High School, Lake Park East High School, McHenry Rotary Club, Metea Valley High School, Lake Park High School, South Elgin High School, Wheaton Lions Club, Dundee Crown High School. McHenry Morning Rotary Club, Lisle Lions Club, Lions Club District F1 Convention,Operation Prom Night – Morton West High School, Metea Valley High School, Glenbard North High School, Lincolnshire Rotary Club, Kennedy High School, Crystal Lake Rotary Club, Chicago Association of Driver Education Instructors, Oakbrook Rotary Club, Wheeling Citizens Police Alumi Association, Dundee Crown High School, Metea High School, Schaumburg AM Rotary, Naperville Rotary Club, Lake Park West High School, Naperville Kiwanis Club, Bartlett High School, South Elgin High School, Wheaton North High School, Naperville Sunrise Rotary Club, Nicholas Senn High School, Kiwanis Club of LaGrange, Aurora Kiwanis Club, Collinsville High School – Alabama, Geneva Kiwanis Club, Geneva Kiwanis Club, Park Ridge Kiwanis Club, Dundee-Crown High School, St. Charles Kiwanis Club, Chesterfield County Public Schools – VA., Illinois High School and College Driver Education Association 2019 Annual Conference, Gilbane Construction Company, Glenbard North High School, Elgin High School, Aurora Sunrise Rotary Club, Metea High School (5/29/19).
Private Companies: (UPS, Ameren Gas Company)