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A Mother’s Story: How I Lost My Daughter Because of A Driver Distraction

Girls had their prom dresses and the guys ordered tuxes. The school held an assembly for the seniors. They expected it to be just another one of those “don’t be a distracted driver” speeches. It was led by a teacher and mother of a former student, a student who never attended prom or graduation. Why, you ask? Because Shawna was killed one month before her own prom, as a result of distracted driving.

Shawna’s mom displays her prom dress as she speaks to the assembled students. She wants students to stop and think about Shawna; she doesn’t want a single student or student’s family to feel the sadness she and her family feel every day. Distracted driving has become an epidemic. In Shawna’s case, it was her own distraction. She was drinking coffee and texting while behind the wheel. Shawna lost control of her vehicle, it overturned, and she was thrown from the car. Fortunately, no one else was in the car with Shawna and no other vehicles were involved.

Shawna’s mom says she speaks out as a parent, not as a teacher. She does not try to lecture; she does not tell the students what to do; she, simply and tenderly, shares a personal story of what can happen when you drive while distracted.

As the students left the assembly, conversations were robust. This presentation was powerful, it made an impact. For one girl, it rang to close to home. She recalls her own auto accident last year when she was using her iPod while driving. Fortunately, she was not injured and no other vehicle was involved. The teen says that the presentation helped her realize how her risky driving behavior could have affected herself and her family. She vows to change her driving habits and not ride with friends who are not attentive drivers.

Shawna’s fatal auto accident was five years ago, but the memories will never fade. Her mother says, “I couldn’t save my own child, but if I can save someone else’s by talking about Shawna, then it’s all worth it.”

Lawsuit Financial, the pro-justice lawsuit funding company, strongly supports restrictions on driver distractions of any kind. We actively promote driver safety and publicly address the many driving distractions that exist in our daily lives. As an expert in auto accident lawsuit funding, we see the devastating effects that driver distractions can cause. Please do not put yourself and others at risk. Save these tasks for another time. Multi-tasking is not meant for our roads. The more we educate the better chance we all have to improving our roadways.