Hang up and drive was the lesson of the day for some Oneida County high schoolers Monday. Our Andrew Sorensen tells us the story of a woman severely injured by a distracted driver and her plea to teens this week to get them to be safe.
WHITESBORO, N.Y. -- Jacy Good's life was seriously changed by one young person after her 2008 college graduation.
"That young man ran a red light and an 18 wheeler swerved to try and miss him and swerved directly into my family's car," she said.
This week, she's trying to change the lives of hundreds of Oneida County's young people for the better by sharing her story with local high schools.
"Both my parents were killed on impact and I was given about a 10 percent chance of surviving that night," said Good.
She endured two months of surgeries and over two years trying to recover.
"Because of the brain injury, it never really will, because I don't have the brain cells that know how to use the left side of my body," Good explained.
She hopes to get these teens to drive more safely by getting them to hang up and drive. Many students are quick to say they've heard not to text and drive.
"I don't try to. I usually give it to my sister in the car or whoever's in the car so I don't have to touch my phone," Whitesboro High School student and new driver Rebecca Galer said.
But Jacy's story seems to have a deeper impact.
"Just hearing from someone who is a victim, even just another person or another car, just definitely be very, very careful and never do it," said student Kaylee Gassner
Beyond texting and driving, Good says talking on the phone, drinking your cup of coffee, or even playing with the radio could cause a major accident.
“We are physically and psychologically addicted to our cell phones like we would be addicted to a drug.”
Good says your best bet is to turn your phone off, minimize all distractions and enlist your friends.
"Once everyone sets that standard, that your friends know that you can't use the phone, that starts to change the culture and it will save lives," she said.
She says you may never know if you saved a life, but you'll definitely know if you didn't and that's a risk it's worth putting the phone away for.
For more information on Good and her story, visit hangupanddrive.com.