Stephen F. Austin State University Student Group Organizes Distracted Driving Awareness Event
February 5, 2022
The statistics are frightening. In 2018, more than 2,800 people lost their lives in automobile accidents and an estimated 400,000 were injured with at least one reason in common…distracted driving. It didn’t matter if the person behind the wheel was using a cell phone, tuning the radio, or eating some fast food while driving, the result was a terrible accident and another life lost.
Today a growing number of young people are trying to fight this epidemic of senseless deaths through education programs. Leading the effort on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus is the Texas Epsilon chapter of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity.
For this campus program the fraternity set up sign-up tables where students and faculty can get educational material about distracted driving, sign a pledge not to be distracted drivers themselves, and receive stickers and wrist bands to help remind them of the importance of staying alert and focused behind the wheel.
Behavioral studies have shown that signing a written pledge can change behavior by 47% more than any other incentive.
This campaign has a personal connection for Phi Kappa Psi because of the death of Hunter Watson, a fraternity member who died as a passenger in a distracted driving-related accident, prior to entering his junior year at Syracuse.
In response to Hunter’s death, his family and a number of friends established the Hunter Watson Memorial Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to honoring Hunter’s legacy by underwriting a grant program to support innovative young people, and by working with groups such as Phi Kappa Psi to help educate the public regarding the dangers of distracted driving.
Additional information on the program, and on the efforts of the Hunter B. Watson Memorial Fund, is available at the Memorial Fund website at www.hunterwatson.com.
About Hunter’s Fund
On June 18, 2016, Hunter Brooks Watson’s promising life was abruptly and tragically ended when he was fatally injured as a passenger in an automobile collision.
In the months following Hunter’s death, his family and friends and the communities in which he was nurtured, all searched for a way to continue his presence and ideals
The Hunter Brooks Watson Memorial Fund (Hunter’s Fund) was founded as a result and is the realization of his family’s and his communities’ desire to celebrate his life and interests. Our inspiration and our mission come from Hunter himself. He was a young man of extremely diverse talents and interests. Wherever he went, whatever he did, he brought a spark and contagious energy that inspired those around him.
The Fund aims to keep Hunter’s insatiable energy and optimism alive by giving grants to help young people’s involvement in the fields of performing arts, music, computer science, and entrepreneurship, those areas that inspired Hunter, and the fund is unique in that it provides financial assistance for projects of their own choosing.