Why we do our “Texts=Wrecks” campaign
The team at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys understands the value of community, and we take our commitment to giving back seriously. The partners of the firm, John Singleton and Ken Gibson, talked about one of our public safety campaigns in a recent interview:
John: “One of our beliefs is that we want to educate our community to avoid accidents, to avoid injuries. Our unofficial slogans are: ‘We don’t want you as a client. But if you are injured, we’re here to help you.’ And ‘You’re our neighbor; you’re not a number to us.’”
Ken: “To help fulfill those beliefs, we’ve launched an annual campaign that we call Texts=Wrecks. We were saddened to see so many clients injured by distracted drivers—who were looking down at their phones, texting, and not paying attention to the road.
“We’ve learned, through our campaign, that while looking down at your phone for just four seconds, your car is going to travel over 100 yards. You’re essentially blind to the roadway, and that is creating an awful lot of injuries and deaths. Really, it’s kind of the new drunk driving. It’s become a very serious problem.”
Note: One startling statistic is that 6 in 10 teen crashes are now due to distracted driving—58 percent overall (CNBC). Approximately 3,500 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015 and 2016, according the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration.
John: “Distracted driving is not only texting while you’re driving, although it’s one of the worst kinds because you’re looking at your phone, you’re thinking about what you’re texting, and you’re trying to manipulate your phone to send a message.
“But distracted driving can also be eating while you’re driving, or drinking something—a Coke, or a cup of coffee—while you’re driving, or even putting on make-up. Believe it or not, people do that, and that is distracted driving.
“So you’ve got to be aware that anything you do, other than your primary mission of driving, is distracted driving.”
Note: There are three types of distracted driving: manual, visual, and cognitive. Texting is especially dangerous because it combines all three!
Ken: “To raise awareness about this problem, our law firm has done several things. First, we put a crashed car in front of our office. We put a banner on it that says ‘Texts=Wrecks,’ and it got quite a bit of attention from the community. We did that to show the real-life impact of texting and driving.
“We’ve also spoken to hundreds of high school students in our area to raise their awareness about the problem. Young people are in a unique position because they grew up with cellphones, and iPads, and things like that. So they’re intimately familiar with these devices, and they can be leaders in showing their family members and their friends that texting and driving just doesn’t work.
“John, tell them about our scholarship.”
John: “We also have a scholarship campaign, where students can fill out an application online, and write an essay about why distracted driving is so dangerous and detrimental to our community. In 2018, we awarded a $1,000 scholarship to a high school student who’s going to college, and we’ll be awarding another one in 2019.”
Note: You can apply for our 2019 Texts=Wrecks Scholarship here! Meet our 2018 scholarship winner, Gillian Pritchett, here.
Ken: “So, we really want to spread the message that distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and is leading to unnecessary injuries and deaths on the roadway. And we hope that you’ll support our campaign and share the information with your loved ones.”
John: “And, don’t forget that many states, including Virginia, have enacted laws that make distracted driving a traffic offense. And in some cases, it can lead to a criminal offense.”
GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys is committed to our Eastern Virginia communities, and we are committed to getting justice for our clients. If you’ve been injured by a distracted driver, rest assured that John, Ken, and the rest of our team will work hard to see that you get the compensation you deserve. Call (804) 413-6777 for a free consultation.
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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.