The Easiest Way To Save A Life

November 8, 2015
Letter to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
March 8, 2016

The Easiest Way To Save A Life

by Kyle Ruff age 12

36 years ago, my mom’s life was changed forever. Their pale green station wagon was struck by a drunk driver. Both of her parents were killed on impact, and she and her brother were severely injured. From that day on, her life was never the same. She moved from place to place, trying to find her new home, which seemed impossible without the company of her parents. After many years, she finally settled down and had me. To this day, the memory of that cool November day still haunts her.

Distracted driving. These two words can cause unspeakable amounts of damage. Although my grandparents were killed by a drunk driver, I know personally the level of tragedy that car crashes cause. The driver involved in my grandparent’s crash may not have been distracted by a cell phone but he was distracted by alcohol. Maybe if the man who hit my grandparents would have just waited to take that drink until he got home, my grandparents would still be here. Maybe my brother and I would have gotten to go fishing with my grandfather, or taste my grandmother’s delicious home cooking. Maybe I would get to spend Christmas with them every year. Maybe my mother wouldn’t have to be haunted by the memory of the wreck. None of this will happen, however, thanks to the deadly driving decision that killed my grandparents. It is important to take the It Can Wait Pledge because there are thousands of people that will go through exactly what my mom did, if people drive distracted. I can assure you that it is something that nobody should ever have to go through.

Although drinking and texting are not the same things, they cause the same result, unbelievable catastrophes to many families. Nearly 70% of people engage in some kind of smartphone activity while driving. As a result of this, texting while driving can cause up to 200,000 car wrecks in a year. This translates to about 548 car crashes and 11 teen deaths every day caused by texting while driving. If we don’t do anything to stop this, in this year alone, more than 3,000 teens will pass away because of texting while driving. This will leave thousands of people devastated, just because somebody decided to send a probably meaningless text.

To this day, I just cannot understand the ignorant man’s reasoning. There is absolutely no reason at all to endanger you and countless other drivers just to post a selfie, or whatever meaningless activity on your smartphone that you choose to do when you are behind the wheel. There is absolutely no way that sending a text is even close to as important as a human being’s life. It is the easiest way to save a life, so Take the pledge to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone at Remember, It Can Wait.

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