hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


July 25, 2013

Texting while driving?

In 5 seconds you'll travel 100 yards with your eyes off the road, students told

Do you know how long a distance you’re driving if you are texting for just five seconds, or taking your eyes off the road to read a text?

Gary Jaffarian, president of Jaffarian Toyota Volvo Scion of Haverhill, asked that question recently to students at three driver education programs in the Merrimack Valley. Only one student guessed it would be the entire length of a football field — 100 yards.

Jaffarian spoke to 90 students in three days from Andover Driving School, Methuen Driving School and Pickwick Driving Academy in Amesbury.

He quoted a survey where 46 percent of teenagers admitted to texting while driving, even though it is against the law.

“If you’re texting, you are 25 times more likely to be in an accident,’’ he said.

Jaffarian emphasized many of the dangers of driving to these teens who are eager to get their driver’s permit in the coming months. He also said a person’s driving record may affect his ability to get a job.

Jaffarian speaks at local driver education schools to provide an additional perspective of the importance of safe driving habits. He said he is committed to giving back to the local community and speaking to young drivers to complement what driving instructors, parents and police officers reinforce.

Jaffarian tells students that driving is a privilege that comes with great responsibility.

To make a point about the severe impact of crashes, Jaffarian asked the students how much a car weighs and to multiply that times the speed you are driving, and even at the speed limit, to imagine the impact of a crash in a 2,500-pound car traveling at 55 to 65 miles an hour.

“You have to have respect for the vehicle and respect for the road,’’ he told students.

Quoting from the latest statistics from the National Highway Safety Council and other sources, Jaffarian discussed the importance of wearing seat belts to avoid being ejected from a car during a crash.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • 140808_HG_HAND_CUTTING

    Attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Marjorie Goudreault walkway are, from left, Elizabeth Delgado, special assistant to Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera; John Dimitry, former NECC president, and his wife, Audrey; Steven Buturlia of Pelham; Kelsy Buturlia of Pelham; Barbara Goudreault of Haverhill; Christopher Goudreault of Haverhill; Mary Goudreault of Tewksbury; Bill Moynihan of Haverhill, chair of NECC's Board of Trustees; Julie Reynolds of Middleton, N.H.; Patrick Goudreault of Haverhill; Matthew Goudreault of Haverhill; Lynn Morton of Tucson, AZ; Ann Corey of Atkinson; and NECC President Lane Glenn.

    'She was passionate about what she believed' Posted 6 days ago 2 Photos
  • The city wants you Posted 6 days ago

    Joseph Roach is the new CEO and President for Holy Family Hospital in Methuen and Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley in Haverhill. He is standing in front of the hospital located in Haverhill. CARL RUSSO/Staff photo

    No, you're not in Methuen Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo
  • The Lamp Post Posted 6 days ago

    AMY SWEENEY/Staff photoRoyal Nails and Spa offers the best manicure, according to a vote by readers of the Gazette.

    More than just a mani-pedi Posted 6 days ago 2 Photos
  • 140717_HG_MSC_BURGER_3

    MARY SCHWALM/Staff photo The Lasting Room burger with hand-cut fries is a favorite of customers.

    Lasting Room burgers make for lasting impressions Posted 6 days ago 3 Photos
  • SCHOOL SUPPLIES3 [Duplicate]

    AP Photo/Yoobi Yoobi Pretzel Erasers make going back to school fun.

    Sharpening up for class Posted 6 days ago 8 Photos

    Staff file photo Buffalo boneless ribeye steak is offered at Haverhill Beef Company on Merrimack Street. Here, owner Peter Carbone holds a tray of freshly cut pieces.

    Get far more than beef at Haverhill Beef Posted 6 days ago 3 Photos

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Elaine Saragas serves coffee at Heav'nly Donuts.

    Best coffee brewing at Heav'nly Donuts Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo

    PAUL BILODEAU/Staff photo Pentucket Bank President Scott Cote, left, and financial adviser Kevin McKinnon talk in the main lobby of the bank's Merrimack Street branch.

    Pentucket Bank is tops Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo

Photos of the Week