Hang Up and Drive: Jacy Good advocates for cell phone-free roads

Posted at: 02/15/2013 11:32 AM
Updated at: 02/15/2013 5:56 PM
By: Lynette Adams

It's a painful story, but one she shares so others won't have to go through what she's gone through. A car crash killed her parents and left Jacy Good partially paralyzed. She shared her story Friday with students in hopes of changing the culture of distracted driving.

It was silent in the performing arts center at Wayne Senior High School. Good spoke to the students for about 45 minutes. Her compelling story captured their attention, but her message is simple, “Hang Up and Drive.”

Jacy Good said, “We stopped at a gas station. I remember stopping at that gas station and there's nothing remarkable about that, except it's the very last memory I have of that day.”

Doctors gave Jacy Good a 10% chance of survival. Her parents didn't make it. On the way home after graduating from college 5 years ago, a teen talking on his cell phone ran a red light. To avoid hitting him, the driver of a dairy truck swerved, crashing into the car Good and her parents were riding in.

Good said, “I would have been dead on the scene as well if this man hadn't been a paramedic knew what he was doing, moved my head so I could gasp for air kept myself alive because that man stayed there until the ambulance arrived.”

After months in the hospital, Good was able to go home, but she had to relearn everything from her ABC's to how to tie her shoe. But she's also learned some important lessons she shared with the students. Good's most compelling plea, “put your cell phone away when you're behind the wheel.”

Good said, “I would challenge you to think of something on your phone that's more important than your own life or heaven forbid the lives of others on the road around you.”

The National Safety Council finds that nearly one in 4 crashes involve cell phone distracted driving and every year, 5,500 people die in this country as the result of cell phone distracted driving, that's 15 people every day. Trooper Mark O'Donnell says it's one of the biggest concerns of New York State Police..

Trooper Mark O'Donnell, State Police, said, “It's an epidemic. As Jacy said, its the number one contributing factor to automobile crashes that took over for speeding some time ago. It's the problem with all the technology that’s out there.”

Good says cell phone related crashes are 100% preventable. She says if one student get's the message, that's one life that may be saved. Senior Valerie Arnold says she gets it.

Good says it's today's generation of young people who will change the culture of cell phone distracted driving. She encouraged them to put their own phones away and to speak up when other drivers are using them even if if it's a parent.

To learn more about her message, click here .