Empowering 132,895 teens annually: Distress Bandanna enhances roadside safety

Imagine being stranded on the side of the road, waiting for help to arrive. You think you are safe, but you are not. Every second, you are at risk of being hit, injured or killed by a driver who is not paying attention, who is too tired, who is impaired or who is speeding. This is not a hypothetical scenario. This is a harsh reality for many motorists in Illinois.

According to the latest data from IDOT, from 2019 to 2021, there were 456 crashes involving a disabled vehicle, resulting in 29 fatal crashes and 35 fatal injuries. However, these numbers likely underestimate the true impact because some incidents categorize stranded motorists as pedestrians when they are working on, pushing, leaving or approaching their vehicles. Distress Bandanna is advocating for a new category of disabled-vehicle crashes at the national level. This initiative aims to further protect stranded motorists across the country.

Distress Bandanna Teen Driver Safety Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teen driver safety, is proud to announce that Senate Bill 2028, a lifesaving law that protects stranded drivers on our roads, is now in effect. This law championed by Distress Bandanna and supported by Rep. Katie Stuart, Sen. Steve McClure, and Sen. Laura Murphy, aims to protect stranded drivers. This new law mandates the inclusion of stranded motorists’ safety protocol in the Illinois Rules of the Road, as best practices, ensuring that it is taught in high school Driver Education classes across the state.

132,895 Driver Education students will benefit each year from learning how to handle roadside emergencies in a safe and effective manner. The protocol will advise drivers on how to pull safely out of traffic and into a safe location, use hazard lights, when to stay in a stranded vehicle, and when and how to safely exit a stranded vehicle. The enactment of Senate Bill 2028 is a major step forward in roadside safety education.

Distress Bandanna has successfully delivered volunteer hands-on instruction through 2,250 high school teen driver safety presentations, impacting 80,000 young drivers, and contributing 175,200 service hours. Distress Bandanna is committed to saving lives and promoting teen driver safety in Illinois.

For information, contact Vivian Pratt Anderson, director, at 217) 725-5904 or

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