The dangers of texting and driving are well known in Chicago. Many accidents have been associated with a driver using her or his cellular device while behind the wheel of a vehicle. Despite statistics and warnings about the consequences that texting and driving can cause, many people continue to do it and at least one victim of the combined act is willing to share his story as part of an advocacy campaign.
The 22-year-old man was involved in a car accident when he was 17 years old. He received a traumatic brain injury and has been on the road to recovery ever since. It is likely that he will never return to his former state of being but he is communicating and advocating against texting and driving.
According to data, more than 100,000 crashes are caused by texting and driving each year. Due to this information and the fact that thousands of Americans continue to text while behind the wheel, the 22-year-old man has made it his life's goal to advocate against the act that caused his life to change forever.
That change came when he was riding as a passenger in a car. The driver of that vehicle was texting at the time and collided with a tree. According to reports, the car was so tightly wrapped around the tree that then 17-year-old advocate had to be extricated through the windshield. The crash was so serious that many believe he could have died. According to him, he actually died several times before he turned 18.
His survival has inspired him to become a champion against texting and driving. His work has gotten him the notice of AT&T and he will be a part of the company's national campaign against texting and driving, known as "It Can Wait," where participants will be asked to sign a lifelong pledge stating that they will no longer text and drive.
The 22-year-old man is excited to be alive. He said that he will not let himself become a statistic. He plans on heading to college, living life and having fun, regardless of the limits that his brain injury may cause him.
Source: KCBD, "Man shares story of brain damage to discourage texting & driving," Abby Reed, Sept. 19, 2012