Who better to talk to teens about the dangers of talking or texting while driving than a fellow teen who has suffered beyond words because of a distracted driver?
Jacy Good lost both of her parents in a distracted driving accident in Pennsylvania in 2008. A young ran a red light because he was talking on his cellphone. This caused an accident that killed Jacy’s parents and left her with severe handicaps.
Jacy survived, however, and helped found the national driving safety organization Hang Up and Drive. The group works to educate people about the dangers of distracted injuries. The goal is to stop traffic deaths and injuries caused by using cellphones and other mobile devices while driving.
National statistics give an indication of just how risky cellphone use behind the wheel is. The statistics show that distracted drivers are 23 times more likely to get in a car crash than those who are not talking or texting while driving.
In her presentations to student groups, Jacy Good makes clear that distracted driving is so dangerous because the brain gets overwhelmed by trying to take in data from both cellphones and the road. And this cognitive overload can make distracted drivers as dangerous as drunk drivers.
The driver who ran into her and her parents in Pennsylvania, she points out, was looking out of the windshield at the road. But his mind was on his cellphone call, and so he did not see the red light.
Whatever the man was talking about on that call, it could have waited. That is why Jacy Good challenges people to consider that no cellphone conversations are as important as your own life and the lives of others.
Source: “Teen Victim Warns L.I. High School Students Of Distracted Driving Dangers,” CBS New York, 2-20-13
Our firm handles situations similar to those discussed in this post in the Philadelphia area. To learn more about our practice, please visit our motor vehicle accidents page.