In September of 2016, General Motors executive Steve Kiefer’s 18-year-old son Mitchel was tragically killed in an auto crash caused by a distracted driver.
Following this heartbreaking accident, Kiefer decided to create a foundation in honor of Mitchel that was devoted to the prevention of fatalities and injuries due to distracted driving. The mission of the Kiefer Foundation is to end distracted driving and all associated traffic deaths and injuries. The Kiefer Foundation is working with several organizations to align around this mission. Three pillars are utilized to support this mission: 1) raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, 2) supporting policies to end distracted driving, and 3) supporting the advancement and implementation of technology to end distracted driving.
Since its inception, the Kiefer Foundation has raised well over $1 million to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. The funds raised by the Kiefer Foundation are being deployed through a number of nonprofit organizations to support the mission. As one example, the foundation has worked with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) to construct a new cable barrier along the stretch of I-96 where Mitchel’s fatal crash occurred. This project was co-funded by the Kiefer Foundation and MDOT, and was the first private/public funded project of its kind in the area of highway safety in Michigan. Since its installation in September of 2017, Mitchel’s cable guard rail has been hit 6 times, potentially saving the lives of these drivers.
Additionally, the Kiefer Foundation has worked with the PEERs foundation, utilizing an augmented reality simulator to educate young drivers on the dangers of distracted driving. The Foundation has sponsored well over 100 events at schools and community functions across the nation and will continue to expand this activity in the coming months.
Several additional initiatives are being led by the Kiefer Foundation to further increase awareness and to help gain support for hands free legislation around the country. More information is available at mkiefer.org.
Steve has taken his personal tragedy and redirected his energy to putting an end to this practice that has sadly taken so many innocent lives.