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As a survivor of a distracted driving car accident that left me paralyzed from the waist down, it has become my mission to educate audiences on the harsh realities and consequences of distracted driving. Through sharing my story, I am able to connect with students on the dangers they face every time they get in the car. They hear the 911 calls from the day of my wreck, see the crumped up and charred remains of my car, and they see my harsh reality of life from a wheelchair as I roll across the stage.
In 2005, as a college student heading to pick up a friend for spring break, my life was changed in an instant when a fully-loaded cement truck ran over the top of my corvette as I was at a complete stop waiting to make a left-hand turn: the result of distracted driving. From that experience I have adopted new habits as I drive to make sure I am never the cause of a distracted driver car accident.
As I travel the nation speaking to schools and businesses, meeting with thousands of students and administrators, it is clear why this is such an important mission. Each time I speak I hear stories of loved ones my audience has lost, or lives changed forever due to a distracted driving car accident. There is much work to be done still to help curb these stories, and help our students understand the risks of texting while driving.
If even one life can be saved from me sharing my story and these tips to be a safer driver, then I can feel good about the purpose of my accident – to have a positive impact on the lives of so many others. It truly will take everyone doing their part individually to stop this epidemic of distracted driving!
DriveitHOME™ is an initiative of the National Safety Council, designed by and for parents of newly licensed teen drivers. DriveitHOME™ offers free resources parents can use to help their teen build experience to become safer drivers.