To prevent texting while driving, we have to stop the practice, cold turkey. I admit that I have been someone who used to text and drive, but quit cold turkey when I joined Oprah Winfrey’s pledge against texting while driving. We have to turn off our cell phones while driving, toss them in the car trunk, or place them out of reach on the car’s back seat. Texting while driving has especially become an epidemic within our teen population. Texting while driving is causing parents to lose their teenagers.
On January 30, 2011, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, on ABC, presented a story about a young seventeen year old teenager, Alex Brown, who lived in Wellman,Texas. Alex Brown died in November of 2009 from a car vehicle accident due to texting while she was driving. Alex Brown’s father, Johnnie Mac, said, “She was going to change the world or die trying, but didn’t know she was going to do it the wrong way.” Alex was interested in broadcast journalism. Johnnie Mac and Jeanne, Alex Brown’s parents, travel around to schools with their daughter Alex’s wrecked pick-up truck on display as graphic imagery, sharing their daughter’s story in order to prevent another teenager from losing their life while being distracted while driving.
The Brown’s home, with their daughter Alex’s room still remained untouched from the day she died. They were selected to receive a new home by Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, because of Alex’s story and their dedication to sharing their daughter’s story. Their old home will be donated to another family once repairs are done. Alex Brown also has a twelve year old sister named Katrina who met her idol, Justin Bieber, while on family vacation in NYC. Justin Bieber informed the family he will donate one dollar from every ticket sold from his concert to benefit the Brown family’s cause.
The Brown’s family cause for no texting while driving is named, R.A.B., Remember Alex Brown. Emma Roberts, a young actress also appeared on the show and helped with the home project. Being on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition has allowed Alex Brown’s story to be shared about her untimely death by texting while driving, and also educate other teenagers against the texting practice in order to hopefully save young lives.
One out of eleven teenagers die every day due to distracted driving, whether it’s talking on the cell phone, talking to teen passengers, listening and dancing to music, or texting while driving. You can view national teen fatality statistics from using a cell phone by driving at the following website link. http://www.rmiia.org/auto/teens/Teen_Driving_Statistics.asp#national
As parents we have to open up a conversation with our teenagers before they first get their drivers license, apply strict rules and consequences, and also adhere to the no texting while driving rule ourselves. We have to remind our teenagers to not be afraid to speak out to friends if they happen to be a passenger in a car with a distracted driver. Many times the distracted driver will live while passengers may be critically ill or killed.
At the time of Alex Brown family’s viewing on, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, fifteen high schools from fifteen states besides Texas signed Alex Brown’s pledge against texting while driving.
Below is a link to a graphic, “You Tube,” video about the danger of teen texting and driving, shown as an educational tool to high school students during driving education.
To find out more about Alex Brown’s story and the, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” click on the website link below. You can also sign up and take a pledge to not text and drive in Alex Brown’s memory.