Archive for the ‘ItCanWait’ Category

Sounds good my man, seeya soon, I’ll tw

April 29, 2013

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You may have already seen this picture. That’s okay. You may even know why this seemingly unimportant text message has been all over the internet for over two weeks. That’s great. Perhaps you don’t need the reminder. But if you do, please pay attention.  It could save your life, or mine.

If you don’t know, Alexander Heit never finished his text message.  His car drifted into oncoming traffic before his eyes returned to the road.  He swerved.  His car reacted.  The laws of physics were too much.  It rolled.  Game over.

Despite laws aimed at protecting us from our own stupidity, this senseless pattern plays out over and over again in our communities. I will never forget the time I was the first responder to a head-on two car motor vehicle crash just outside of Amboy, Washington. From a distance, it looked as if a suburban had drifted off the roadway, over-corrected, and collided with the truck coming the opposite direction. We stopped.  Told our kids to stay in the car. Called 911 and ran to help. I put my fingers to the Suburban driver’s neck. Clearly nothing I could do. “She’s gone, we can’t help her.” The words echo in my mind still today. I’d never “declared” someone dead before, and quite honestly hope never to do so again. It’s not pleasant. Before running to the truck, I saw her cell phone. It was open on the dash.

It took nearly an hour for us to get the three motorists (a grandfather, father, and grandson) out of the truck. We assisted paramedics in loading the grandfather onto a backboard and carrying him back up the steep embankment and loaded into the ambulance. I will never forget that day–how could I?

We need not look far to see someone texting or e-mailing on their phones while driving. Perhaps the driver across the street is wondering what’s for dinner. Maybe the driver next to us forgot to get milk. Maybe the driver in our own car is running late and wants to let someone at home know. These drivers end up on my desk. They cause my clients’ crashes. In fact, before trial I ask for the defendant’s cell phone records in almost every case I handle. I know jurors hate “texters” almost more than they hate trial attorneys.

How much longer will we allow this to endanger our roads? AT&T has a campaign to curb texting and driving.  They call it “It Can Wait.”  They have videos, testimonials, stories, and even simulations. Check it out: http://www.itcanwait.com. Watch a video. Share it with your friends and loved ones. They’re powerful and influential. No text message is worth the risk of life-changing disaster.

I, along with them,encourage, invite, urge, admonish you to take the It Can Wait pledge. Make Safe our roads one pledge at a time. Will you take the pledge? Let us all do so in the comment box.


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