The number of people killed in distraction-affected crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, this was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011. Put down the food. Call a cab if you’ve been drinking. Don’t touch your phone, and use #X. The hashtag is a quick way people can let friends know that you’re getting behind the wheel and WILL NOT BE texting while driving.
Long time friend and supporter of our organization, Patty Grimm, experienced first hand the terrible consequences of somebody driving distracted. Here is her story:
“March is ‘Brain Injury Awareness Month’ and I want to share my story in hopes that it will make people think twice about driving while eating, drinking, smoking or texting and talking on the phone. On a beautiful May day in 2011 I was cruising the speed limit of 55 mph up route 20 towards Orange, VA for my job. Out of nowhere I saw a BMW side swipe the car approximately 100 yards in front of me and roll off the side of the road. At that moment I knew it was going to overcompensate and come back for me, and it did. Within one second the BMW hit me head on at a high rate of speed, rolled down the driver side of my car and pushed me into the guard rail. I prepared to die and prayed to God. After the impact was over I found myself alive, trapped in my car, my legs crushed by engine and dashboard, and afraid the car was on fire.
(Pictured below is the aftermath of the vehicle Patty was driving)
We will never know why the driver of the car that hit me became distracted and lost control of his car, he died on the impact. It could have been from becoming distracted by his phone or opening the beer he was indulging in. Regardless his decision that day changed my life forever. It’s been almost 4 years since the crash and I have endured over 12 surgeries to rebuild my legs and continue to recover. My neurological physicians at UVA are amazed that I only suffer from hearing problems and PTSD, and did not sustain a brain injury considering my body was able to take 110 mph of impact.
My story is a positive “brain” outcome for a person that experienced the impact that I did. For so many others this is not the case. Please, do not drive distracted.” -Patty Grimm
Please think twice before you drive distracted. No text, drink or food item is worth anyone getting injured or losing their life over. Be the difference. Remind yourself and others to drive to arrive alive.