Schroon Lake Central School students will hear a first-hand account of the dangers of cell phone use while driving. Jacy Good, who survived a car crash that killed her parents, will speak at the school Monday, Nov. 25, at 8 a.m. Good’s accident was caused by a distracted driver on a cell phone.
Schroon Lake Central School students will hear a first-hand account of the dangers of cell phone use while driving.
Jacy Good, who survived a car crash that killed her parents, will speak at the school Monday, Nov. 25, at 8 a.m. Good’s accident was caused by a distracted driver on a cell phone.
“I have to know that this accident happened to me for a reason and that my parents’ deaths weren’t senseless and meaningless,” said Good, a member of FocusDriven. “I discovered early in my recovery process that telling my story caused people to change their behavior. I believe my life was spared for a reason, and until families are no longer being forced through the kind of pain that mine was, I will not stop spending every free moment fighting for this cause.”
FocusDriven is a Nebraska-based advocacy group devoted to supporting victims of cell phone distracted driving and their families. It works to increase public awareness of the dangers of cell phone distracted driving by putting a human face on the issue.
Bonnie Finnerty, Schroon Lake school superintendent, invited Good to speak.
“One of our local New York State Police members shared Jacy’s biography with me,” Finnerty said. “Upon review, I recognized her presentation is relevant to the lives of our students and could help save lives. It is timely in that it closely aligns with New York State’s recent roll out of ‘text stops’ and its distracted driving campaign.”
According to FocusDriven, at any given time 9 percent of U.S. drivers are using their cell phones, making them four times more likely to be in an accident than other drivers.
Texting while driving is a greater danger than talking on a cell phone, according to FocusDriven.
American teens send and receive an average of 3,300 text messages per month — more than six texts every hour they are awake, the advocacy group reports. On average, texting causes drivers to look away from the road for 4.6 seconds. At 55 mph, the vehicle travels the length of an entire football field while the driver isn’t looking.
Texting while driving increases chances of a crash by up to 23 times, Focus Driven notes. Drivers who type or read text messages contribute to at least 100,000 crashes each year, leading to thousands of preventable deaths.
Good, who is a board member at FocusDriven, will tell her story to Schroon Lake students.
“My parents, Jay and Jean, were driving me home on May 18, 2008, the day I graduated with magna cum laude honors from Muhlenberg College (Pennsylvania),” Good said. “We’d made this short trip countless times. At 3:30 in the afternoon an 18-year old young man approached a red light on a road intersecting ours. This young man was talking on his cell phone and momentarily stopped at the red light before turning left onto our road. As he did so the driver of a tractor trailer swerved to miss him and slammed full force into my parents’ car.
“A paramedic, who lived near by, arrived to find my mother had no heartbeat, my father had a faint heartbeat, and I wasn’t breathing,” she said. “He shifted my head and I took a gasp for air. It was at least three months later after being told many times when it finally sunk in that the accident that had left me in so much pain and in the hospital had also taken the lives of both my wonderful parents.
“After surviving the unthinkable, I found out the crash that crash that killed my parents, and left me severely injured, was caused because of someone talking on his cell phone,” Good said. “I was outraged and got involved with the Pennsylvania congress almost as soon as I was out of the hospital. I’m still too impaired by my remaining handicaps to work, so all of my time is spent in occupational and physical therapy, and telling my horrific story whenever the opportunity arises.”