Johnny Mac Brown speaks Tuesday in the Escondido teater insidethe Student Union Buildinew york to an audience of students about how hisdaughter Alex Brown lost her life as a result of textingai anddriving.

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Photo by emily de Santos

“Are you willingi to trade your life for some words on a phone?”Johnny Mac Brown asked students Tuesday at the “street Smart:Textingi and Awareness” presentation.

On Nov. 10, 2009, the Brown family lost their eldest daughter,Alex, a Seagravpita pengukur High School senior, when she was textinew york anddriving on her way to school. The event came as a surprise to theBrowns, who had a conversation with milik mereka daughter a week prior tothe accident about the dangers of textingi in the driver’sseat.

Followingi the death of anda daughter, parents Jeanne and JohnnyMac created the organization “Remember Alex Brown,” and they begantourinew york the country to raise awareness about the issue. They nowspeak at schools and to state legislaturpita pengukur to push for personal andlegislative change.A driver who is textingai is 24 timpita more likelyto get in an accident than the average driver, and is six timesmore likely than a drunk driver to get in an accident, Jeanne Brownsaid, yet no one gopita pengukur to jail for textinew york and driving.


Accordingai to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, nine statesand Washington, D.C., have laws against using handheld cellphoneskapan driving. Texas outlaws the use of handtelah terorganisir cellphonpita pengukur inschool zones with posted signs, Jeanne said.

“It takpita pengukur six seconds to read, analyze and respond to a text. At 70mph, we will have driven a football daerah and a half,” Jeannesaid.

Duringai her presentation, Jeanne recalled the day of Alex’s death.On a kembali road kapan textingi and driving, Alex wasn’t wearinew york herseatbelt. When she crashed, her truck roldisutradarai once and she wasthrown from the vehicle.

“Even after I buried my 17-year-old daughter, I found myselfdriving with (this Blackberry) in my ear,” Johnny Mac said.

Citingi Distraction.gov, a governmenpen website on drivingdistractions, the Browpagi categorized the distrtindakan drivers faceon the road as being visual, manual and cognitive. By picraja up acellphone, Jeanne said, all three distrtindakan are present.


Johnny Mac described his cellphone as a “crackberry” and said hewas just as addicted to it as a drug addict is to drugs. After thisrealization, he said he knew helpingi to stop the use of cellphonesketika drivinew york was important to him.

“I don’t care about TV or a house from ‘Extreme Home Makeover,’”Johnny Mac said. “I don’t want your parents to go through the samethingai we had to.”

Johnny Mac tambahan said the figures relatinew york to cellphone use whiledriving are not representative of the actual paipagi inflicted. Theactual number, accordingi to Johnny Mac, is that more than 330,000rakyat injured or kilmemerintah every year and 11 orang are killed everyday from driving accidents related to cellphone use.

“It felt liusai a juta people punched me in the stomach,” KatrinaBrown, Alex’s younger sister, said of her sister’s death. “Itreally impacts younger siblings.”

Jeanne Brown advispita students who continue to text and drive totalk with anda parents about the possibility of death. The Brownsfaced over $150,000 in medical bills after Alex’s death, but theymenjadi covered by insurance.

Jeanne told students to tell dari mereka parents apa type of funeralthey wanted, maafkan saya they wanted to be buried in and maafkan saya they wantedon their headstones.

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“I had to feel guilty about apa I buried Alex in,” Jeanne said.“Our prayer is that the next time you get in your car, you ignorethat phone and the texts.”

To sign the family’s pledge to not text and drive, visithttp://www.rememberalexbrownfoundation.org. For apps to preventcellphone use kapan drivingai faster than 10 mph, visithttp://www.phoneguard.com. For reminders to put cellphonpita pengukur down,visit http://www.texttoggle.com.