It Just Takes Once.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Every day, at least nine Americans die and 100 are injured in distracted driving crashes.
Starting at 8:00am on April 18, 2019, the Marion County Sheriff's Office will give the victim of a fictionalized fatal distracted driving crash a voice once again. Readers can follow the story below, or, on Facebook as we share Brandon's story. Posts in Brandon's "voice", along with the "voice" of first responders and surviving family members will be published throughout the event. The event will last for 5 hours and 49min, the average time MCSO spends on the scene of a fatal crash.
We hope to provide a unique and difficult preview into what a fatal accident looks like from the perspective of those who experience it. While Brandon's story is fictionalized, tragically 10 real people have died on Marion County roadways so far in 2019 alone; and we're barely ¼ of the way into the year. When it comes to Distracted Driving, please remember that #ItJustTakesOnce.
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving
- Let's be honest, when you hear a text or call come in, it's hard to resist the urge to look at your phone. It's best to put it on silent, or, stow it away out of reach before you even start driving.
- To help avoid receiving distractions, check to see if your device has a "do not disturb" feature.
- Distractions come in all shapes and sizes, it's not just cell phones and other electronics; pets, eating, applying makeup, tending to children, etc are all behaviors that take your mind off the road as well.
- It starts with you, but if you know someone who frequently drives distracted, talk to them about it, and share why it concerns you. Remember #ItJustTakesOnce.
- If you are a passenger and the driver is distracted, offer to help avoid the distraction. Don't be afraid to say something, your life may depend on it.
- If you have passengers, ask them for help.
- If there's a distraction you simply can't avoid, safely pull over and address it.
#ItJustTakesOnce - Brandon's Story
Throughout the day today, the following will be updated as the story develops, the full story will be available by 1:49pm: