Today is Veterans Day here in the United States and this PR just popped into my inbox. It’s a rather sad story of a Marine who was killed, not in combat but because he was texting while driving. Personally I can’t stand people who talk on the phone while driving and I hate those who text even more. I try not to use my phone at all while driving, and if I have to I use a headset and that’s only to answer calls I don’t dial while driving. I’ve watched many drivers swerving back and forth while texting and driving, and I’d love to see it outlawed everywhere. Now though things just get worse with car companies actually promoting social networking while driving by integrating things into their cars that let people do more than just drive, like access their Facebook or Twitter accounts. I think that’s just a very bad idea really. Anyway, here’s the full PR, and if you agree with me stop over their site and give it a read.
This Veterans Day, FocusDriven – Advocates for Cell-Free Driving remembers John "JB" Breen, a Marine who was preparing to be deployed, but was killed in a cell phone-related crash. Today, his parents and little girl mourn the loss of their son and father, not to enemy fire but to a text message.
JB was a son, brother and father of a then-2-year-old girl. The 23-year-old, who was preparing for his first deployment to Afghanistan, spent March 15, 2009 with his family in St. Francisville, IL. That night, while driving and texting with a friend, he lost control of his vehicle and veered off the road. He was ejected from the vehicle and died of a massive skull fracture.
"Our son was just 23, preparing to go fight for our freedom when this needless crash happened," said Teresa Breen, JB’s mother. "His little girl now just has pictures of her daddy and all we have are memories and his clothes to hold."
Less than one day before the crash, JB’s father told him to put the cell phone down because it was controlling his life. After the crash, when JB’s parents turned on his cell phone, they saw the unfinished message that took JB’s life – "Yeah T." He was attempting to tell a friend he would meet her for dinner on Tuesday, but never finished the text.
"I encourage anyone who texts while driving to look at his or her last text message and ask himself or herself, ‘Was this message worth my life or the life of another?’" Teresa said.
"An honorable man with a full future and a loving family had his life cut short because he didn’t recognize the dangers of this behavior," said Jennifer Smith, president of FocusDriven. "This Veterans Day, consider JB’s life – put down the cell phone while driving. No conversation is worth a life."
FocusDriven – Advocates for Cell-Free Driving (focusdriven.org) is a nonprofit advocacy organization for victims of motor vehicle crashes involving drivers using cell phones. FocusDriven supports victims of cell phone distracted driving and families of victims. Its goal is to increase public awareness on the dangers of cell phone distracted driving by putting a human face on the disastrous impact of the behavior, in order to promote corresponding public policies, programs and personal responsibility.