April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Abbie DeLoach Foundation (ADF) is encouraging businesses, community partners, individuals and students to join its #HandsFreeForAbbie campaign by visiting the HandsFreeForAbbie.com website and taking the pledge. The hashtag was created in honor of Abbie, who was one of five Georgia Southern University nursing students to lose their lives on April 22, 2015 due to a distracted driver.
As part of its work in the community, ADF is helping raise awareness about distracted driving and encouraging drivers to commit to ending it. “It takes a continuous and conscious effort to do the right thing when behind the wheel,” said Jimmy DeLoach Jr., Abbie’s father and president of the Abbie DeLoach Foundation. “The pace of travel has picked up as the pandemic has waned, which means more people are on the roads — and more will be tempted to be distracted as they drive. Our goal is for every driver to make a commitment to safe driving to help save lives so that no parent, relative, friend or colleague will get a call about a tragic accident that stops their world.”
The #HandsFreeForAbbie campaign offers social media images for anybody to share so they can help spread the word, and it encourages everyone to visit HandsFreeForAbbie.com to make the commitment to drive phone-free.
The #HandsFreeForAbbie Pledge:
When I drive a vehicle:
- I will not hold my phone in my hand or support it with any part of my body.
- I will not write, read or send text messages, emails, social media content and other internet data.
- I will not watch videos.
- I will not record or broadcast videos.
- I will not touch my phone to activate or program any music-streaming app.
- I will be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in my car is distracted.
- I will encourage my friends and family to drive phone-free.
- I will help protect lives by making the commitment to drive phone-free today.
For organizations, there are three easy steps to become a partner:
1. Provide your organization’s logo for inclusion on the HandsFreeForAbbie.com website to publicly share your #HandsFreeForAbbie efforts.
2. Visit HandsFreeForAbbie.com and download social media images and messages you can share to personal and business social media channels, or to internal newsletter communications to employees, throughout the month of April.
3. Share the pledge and encourage your employees to make a commitment by signing the pledge sheet, which is downloadable and printable on the HandsFreeForAbbie.com website.
About the Abbie DeLoach Foundation
The Abbie DeLoach Foundation (ADF) is named for Savannah, Georgia, native Abbie DeLoach, who was one of five Georgia Southern University nursing students tragically killed in a tractor-trailer collision on April 22, 2015. ADF was founded by Abbie’s father, Jimmy DeLoach Jr., in 2016 as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. ADF has proudly presented $1.25 million in scholarships reflecting the qualities that exemplified her life — a love of nursing, education, athleticism and world missions. ADF has awarded 34 medical scholarships and 16 student-athlete scholarships, funded 10 student service programs, and enabled eight recipients to do world mission work. In addition, ADF has built an international home for women in Abbie’s name, with $90,000 invested to stop the exploitation of women. It is headquartered in Savannah. For more information, visit www.abbiedeloachfoundation.com.
The #HandsFreeForAbbie hashtag started in the Savannah and Statesboro areas by Abbie’s family, friends and sorority sisters when the Georgia Hands Free Law was signed on July 1, 2018. The hashtag quickly went viral. Visit HandsFreeForAbbie.com for more information.
 Incorporates messaging from the Hands-Free law, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.