The Lutzie 43 Foundation, founded in 2014 in memory of late Auburn tight end Phillip Lutzenkirchen, unveiled its new safe driving initiative in Atlanta this week.
The initiative, named 43 Key Seconds, aims to create the first nationally-recognized symbol for distracted and impaired driving prevention. The initiative also includes a 43 Key Seconds key, meant to be a physical reminder for drivers to complete the safe driving checklist: clear head, clear hands, clear eyes and clicked seatbelt.
Lutzenkirchen died as a passenger in a single-vehicle accident in 2014. Not wearing his seatbelt, he was ejected from the vehicle.
"My son’s death could have been avoided had the driver and passengers, including Philip, made smarter decisions behind the wheel and in the car" stated Mike Lutzenkirchen, Philip’s father. "I truly believe that if my son had been wearing a seatbelt, he would be here with us today. I have made it my life’s goal to honor Philip’s legacy through this foundation and through the 43 Key Seconds initiative."
The initiative got a boost this week when the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation awarded the Lutzie 43 Foundation a $239,000 grant.
"On behalf of the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, we are thrilled to award the Lutzie 43 Foundation a grant to support their incredible vision and mission to impact young drivers and create positive ambassadors for safe driving," said Angie Blank. "As someone passionate about promoting safe driving, I find it alarming that the number one cause of death in teens is a preventable occurrence. I am confident that Philip’s story will inspire change in this area and fully believe his story will lead others to think twice before making poor decisions on the road. I am honored to have a hand in the 43 Key Seconds initiative and look forward to seeing the positive changes it produces on the roads."
The launch of the 43 Key Seconds initiative coincides with National Teen Driver Safety Week, which was designated as the third week in October by Congress in 2007. Distracted driving is the number one cause of death in teens ages 16-19, and nine people in the U.S. are killed each day as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles.
For more information about the 43 Key Seconds initiative, visit https://lutzie43.org/what-we-do/#key-seconds
To purchase a 43 Key Seconds key, lanyard or pin, visit https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=w_bl_hsx_s_sp_web_0?ie=UTF8&search-alias=aps&field-keywords=Lutzie+43+Foundation