Victims of Teen Distracted Driving
Almost every student I train has no idea the cell phone is required by law to be turned off in the car.
One of the half a million tragic stories regarding distracted driving via cell phone is Jacy Good from PA. Jacy was leaving to return home in May 18, 08. She had just graduated from college. Her parents were with here in the car also.
Her life was on track with a new job soon to start with Habitat for Humanity. Her steady boyfriend, Steve, was going to live with his parents for a year to save money. Then we were going to live together looking forward someday to a life together that would include a family.
Jacy says the last thing she remembered was stopping for gas. I was eventually informed that a teen driver who had just recently got their license was talking on his cell ran though a red light and caused a semi truck to swerve and crash into Jacy's car head on.
Jacy's parents died at the scene. Jacy still alive was saved by a paramedic who was off duty at the time and had heard the loud impact.
For the next several months Jacy 's memory was lost. She had shattered bones. deep cuts and essentially severe injuries from head to toe. Jacy had also suffered a traumatic brain injury which left her chance of survival at a mere ten percent. After Jacy eventually awoke from a medically induced coma she began to follow only simple commands, The recovery process took a month just to begin to speak.
My first solid memory is from July 7, when I was transported to a rehab hospital. Four days later was my 22nd birthday. I was confused because my parents didn't come to celebrate with me. I'd been told dozens of times what had happened to them, but the loss of my parents didn't stick in my head. Sometimes I wonder if that was a subconscious defense mechanism. Steve spent nearly every waking hour by my side, yet it wasn't until about three months after the accident that I finally realized who he was. I had been sure he was my brother Jared, even though Steve is about 6 inches shorter and 100 pounds lighter. Never underestimate the power of an injured brain to confuse the obvious! In rehab I had to relearn how to feed and dress myself, how to read and speak. I was starting over. I gradually worked my way from kindergarten worksheets upward as my brain began to rewire and come back to me.
By September 19, my last day of inpatient rehab, I had just taken my first steps since graduation day. In the following years of outpatient and private therapy, I progressed from a wheelchair to a cane to an ankle brace that I still wear.
Time, impeccable medical care and a junk drawer's worth of plates, rods and screws helped heal everything that could be fixed, but my brain injury is permanent. It's left me without a functioning left arm or a fully capable left leg. My memory isn't exactly stellar and I seldom get restful sleep. Certain cognitive tasks are significantly more taxing than they'd been before. Given today's medical science, there's not much more that can be achieved.
Getting to where I am today has been one hell of a journey and I am so thankful to be able to live an almost completely independent life.
If you're wondering, that proposal and wedding I dreamed about came true, though I had no mom to go dress shopping with or dad to walk me down the aisle. When Jacy and Steve discuss children now the conversation always begins with how to find handicap-friendly housing. She also knows I'll never be able to run around with my boys or braid my daughters' hair. Steve and I have a wonderful life as public speakers, but we'd trade it in a second to just go back to "normal."
Jacy is one of an estimated half a million injuries each year in just the USA as a result of cell phone use.
Jacy's parents were two of the almost 6000 distracted driving fatalities in 2008.
What we do at Nevada Drive Academy is present some of these stories to our teen drivers during the training process. And provide ideas to parents on what they can also do to help monitor their teen after they obtain their drivers license in Las Vegas. Las Vegas has its own unique challenges for new drivers and requires a special approach. .