Be a “crazy” safe driving advocate


Taylor Ewald

Do you text while you drive? Do you talk on the phone while you drive?  Do you realize you are putting your own life and the lives of others at risk when you are distracted behind the wheel?

Think of all the people that you encounter daily while driving. People, with families and their own stories, driving on the same roads as you to wherever their journey takes them. When looking at a busy highway from this perspective, the vehicles travelling become much more personal.

I have simply lost count of how many times I’ve lectured people over their distracted driving habits. Some have called me the “crazy” safe driving girl, many have ignored my message, and some have even called me annoying. However, I simply don’t care. It’s never been about me and never will be. When my friend and I started advocating for safe driving in high school, we didn’t do it to achieve great success for ourselves.

We have chosen to be the voices for the 8 people killed each day because of distracted driving related crashes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those voices forever silenced, unable to educate others on the dangers of careless driving habits. I have never lost someone in my life to distracted driving. However, I have discovered the shattering effect distracted driving has played in other’s lives, and it truly tears me apart.

We see it all the time in the news. Headline after headline carries the same message of the dangers of being distracted behind the wheel. Then what? The story ceases to exist after the 10 o’clock newscast, and that’s the sad part of all of this. The 8 people that die each day to this deadly epidemic deserve more than a one minute story.

It is all citizens’ responsibility to hold people accountable for their deadly habits. You also need to be a “crazy” safe driving activist:  
be honest, be confrontational, and if it comes to this point, be annoying. Don’t you dare sit in silence when you see someone texting and driving. Don’t you dare think it’s alright for someone to not be wearing their seat belt. Don’t you dare think that distracted driving won’t kill you, because it could. You or someone you know could be one of those 8 people that dies today.

Put down the phone, don’t mess with the radio, stop being distracted by passengers in the vehicle. Distracted driving needs to end, but it won’t unless you do your part to prevent it.

For more statistics and information on how to prevent distracted driving, go to the National Organizations for Youth Safety and the Centers for Disease Control.