Hi, I’m Rebekah. I’m a Girl Scout with Girl Scouts of West Central Florida, and this website was designed as one part of my Gold Award Project. My project is dedicated to the memory of SPC Timothy Neil Clayton II, a soldier who was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, and a friend of mine.
My awareness of the dangers of distracted driving began on May 15, 2010, when my mom told me that a close friend of mine was killed in a head on collision the night before. I had all those typical questions going through my head: Why? How? Is this really happening? How could he make it back from his tour in Iraq just to be killed driving in Alaska? I had all these questions, and at the time, almost no answers.
In the weeks and months that followed I learned that on May 14, 2010 Timmy had gone out with a friend and they were killed in a head on car collision. Tim was the passenger, his friend Alecia was driving, and now many people are mourning the loss of them both. The cause of this accident was speed. Most recently, Timmy's mother told me the following information from the accident report: "[Alecia] was doing between 75 and 95 in a 55 zone. She came up on a car that had just pulled out and could not stop, went to pass, saw the semi, tried to correct and but went full speed into the semi.
After my friend had died, I started looking into why things like this happen, and found that it happens far too often. I discovered that distracted driving is one of the main causes of teen deaths in America, and the number one cause of distracted driving is cell phone use. It’s scary to think how all it takes is one moment of the driver being distracted in some way, for many wonderful people to be lost from this world forever.
After I learned about distracted driving, I decided I was going to make my Gold Award project about educating my local homeschool community about the dangers of it, particularly about texting and driving. What started as working only with my local homeschoolers has led to also working with state wide homeschool groups, and then designing this resource website for all drivers.
Timmy always looked after his friends and family, so it was no surprise that he joined the Army to protect his country as well. I’d like to think that by me doing this, it’s a way for Timmy to still protect and save lives.