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Meet our Texts=Wrecks finalists: Lauren Mayer

By Beth Gibson on June 28, 2018

We met Gillian Pritchett and Katherine Harper, and learned about their personal connections to drunk and distracted driving. The next of our six finalists for our 2018 Texts=Wrecks scholarship is Lauren Mayer. Lauren is an 18-year-old Computational & Applied Statistics Mathematical Biology major at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. She’s from Glen Allen, Virginia. Here’s what she had to tell us about why she’ll never text and drive.

Introduction:

To help combat the distracted driving epidemic in the United States, I will lead by example. I will not use my phone in the car. I will download an app that automatically recognizes when I am driving and sends automated texts to those who contact you to inform them that you are driving and cannot answer now. If I am in the car with someone who starts using their cell phone while driving, I will ask them kindly to stop and offer to act as navigator and to take care of anything else of importance on their phone while they’re driving.

Short Essay:

I know that distracted driving ranges from driving under the influence to driving while using a smartphone to even driving while tired. I have seen from peers the effects of drinking alcohol on judgment calls. Driving is tough enough because you must anticipate the next move of all other cars on the road with you, and consuming these substances lead to awful judgment impairment, which makes it impossible to determine the next move of other drivers and yourself. Driving on your cell phone or while tired can lead to judgment impairments nearly as bad as being under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

What I’ve learned so far in life about drugs, alcohol, and distracted driving through peers has taught me how to make smart decisions now that I’m an adult. Many of my peers choose to drink even though they are not of age. I know how alcohol affects your health, especially when you are underage. Because of this and the bad decisions I’ve personally seen peers make while drunk, I do not drink. Drugs, besides being illegal, also have caused my peers to make very poor decisions. Due to this I choose to abstain from drugs as well.

I worked closing shifts a lot at my job and would often drive home at or after midnight after working a 6+ hour shift. At one point, I was repeatedly working 26 hours over the course of two days. These kinds of shifts put a strain on you mentally and physically. Even though I only live seven minutes away from my job, knowing how long hours affect me, I know not to drive if I ever feel that

I am too tired to make it home. I will apply this knowledge even if I am not the one driving. If I am driving with someone who is repeatedly yawning or showing signs of fatigue, I will offer to drive. If they say no and continue to exhibit symptoms of lack of sleep, I will kindly ask them to pull over at a rest stop. This way we can safely trade off, and they can get some rest.

Every time my family and I go to church together, we pass by the grave of an individual who was killed while driving drunk. He also killed his two friends who were passengers in the car as well. This serves as a constant reminder for me to never get in the car with someone who is drunk and driving, or to drive drunk myself. The last thing I have learned in life so far is that you need to surround yourself with friends who are looking out for you. True friends will never let you make poor decisions. They will also never let someone drive drunk and will always assign a designated driver/call an Uber for you to make sure you get home safe.

Overall, I aim to apply what I have learned in life so far about distracted driving to set a good example for others. Setting a good example may help the next generation of drivers be less distracted and safer on the roads.

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Community service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches a “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.