Earlier this year, my firm and I set out to make a difference in the fight against texting and driving by offering a scholarship for texting and driving essays. Over 5,000 high school and college students took the time to answer our essay prompt:
“If you had to convince just one friend not to text and drive, what would you say?”
I’m very happy to announce the winner of our national scholarship: Rachel Dyet of Pima Community College Tucson, Arizona.
Rachel’s essay stood out for several reasons. She’s a very good writer and her essay answered the prompt with both reason and passion. Most importantly, it’s easy to see how she could make a difference in stopping one person from texting and driving.
By publishing her essay here, I hope that she can make a difference in alot more lives.
The development of technology has enabled people to cross unknown boundaries, generate a higher standard of living, and also revolutionize the way we communicate. People can contact others across the globe, on all spectrums. Anything you want to say to anyone, can immediately be distributed with a phone call, email, social media message, or even text.
But with this power of technology and communication comes our downfall. Distraction, ambivalence, and the ignorance to our surroundings because we are so entranced with our technology, especially while driving.
Texting and driving has become one of the most senseless and preventable causes of death since this form of communication took over the masses. Do I know people who text and drive? Of course. Do I see people texting and driving? Every single day, and every single year 3,000 preventable deaths are from texting while driving.
I will not allow one of my friends to be listed in that statistic. If I had to convince one friend not to text and drive I would tell them to imagine becoming that statistic.
I would tell them to imagine all the people, things, and places they love and care about. I would tell them to picture their mother and father across the dinner table, smiling and laughing with them.
Imagine all the friends they have and the memories they’ve shared, trips to the beach, nights out on the town staying up until the sun comes up, creating moments that will be cherished and looked back on.
I would to tell them to imagine the places they haven’t seen, Paris, Italy, India, and all cities in between, that they have to see in the future.
Imagine the family you want, the family you have, and the friends and people in your life you love unconditionally. I would tell them to think long and hard about all these things in their life that give them joy and happiness. Are you feeling elated? Is there a smile on your face from the people you know, and the memories you have? Do you feel happy, I would ask. I would tell them to picture themselves driving and sending a text. The text says, “See you soon.” But you never do. The time it took to send the text distracted you and now you are driving into oncoming traffic.
What happens to you? Do you die? Does someone else die? Are you seriously injured? The people you love; your family, friends, significant others and that happiness you experienced is gone.
The memories you had, the experiences you would have had, and the people you would have shared them with are gone.
The life you loved has been taken, no, it has been given for three words sent with the technology we created, “See you soon,” but in a strange twist of fate, you won’t be seeing anybody.
When you hit that truck head on and you see the last images of your life, the last people you love in your life, you will realize that three words ended your life.
Your message has been sent, your message was received, but the biggest message of all is you are now a statistic.
Still want to text and drive?