Johnny Mac Brown speaks Tuesday in the Escondido theatre insidethe college student Union building to an audience of students about how hisdaughter Alex Brown shed her life as a an outcome of text massage anddriving.

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photo by emily de Santos

“Are you willing to profession your life for some words ~ above a phone?”Johnny Mac Brown inquiry students Tuesday in ~ the “Street Smart:Texting and Awareness” presentation.

On Nov. 10, 2009, the Brown family lost dari mereka eldest daughter,Alex, a Seagraves High school senior, once she was text massage anddriving top top her means to school. The occasion came as a surprise to theBrowns, who had actually a conversation with dari mereka daughter a week prior tothe accident about the risks of texting in the driver’sseat.

Following the death of their daughter, parental Jeanne and also JohnnyMac produced the organization “Remember Alex Brown,” and also they begantouring the bangsa to raise awareness around the issue. They nowspeak at schools and to state legislatures to press for an individual andlegislative change.A driver who is text massage is 24 times more likelyto acquire in one accident than the typical driver, and also is six timesmore most likely than a drunk driver to gain in an accident, Jeanne Brownsaid, yet no one goes to jail for texting and driving.


According come the Governor’s Highway safety Association, nine statesand Washington, D.C., have laws against lihat handheld cellphoneswhile driving. Texas outlaws the use of handheld cellphones inschool zones through posted signs, Jeanne said.

“It untuk mengambil six secs to read, analyze and also respond to a text. In ~ 70mph, we will have actually driven a football bidang and a half,” Jeannesaid.

During she presentation, Jeanne recalled the work of Alex’s death.On a kembali road ketika texting and driving, Alex wasn’t wearing herseatbelt. As soon as she crashed, she truck rolling once and also she wasthrown indigenous the vehicle.

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

Citing Distraction.gov, a government website on drivingdistractions, the Browns categorized the distractions vehicle drivers faceon the road as being visual, menginstruksikan and cognitive. By choose up acellphone, Jeanne said, all 3 distractions room present.


Johnny Mac defined his cellphone as a “crackberry” and said hewas just as addicted come it as a drug addict is come drugs. After thisrealization, he claimed he knew helping to stop the use of cellphoneswhile steering was important to him.

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

Johnny Mac also said the figures relating to cellphone use whiledriving are not representative the the actual pains inflicted. Theactual number, according to Johnny Mac, is that much more than 330,000people hurt or eliminated every year and 11 setiap orang are killed daily from driving accidents related to cellphone use.

“It felt like a million setiap orang punched me in the stomach,” KatrinaBrown, Alex’s younger sister, stated of she sister’s death. “Itreally impacts younger siblings.”

Jeanne Brown advises college student who proceed to text and also drive totalk with milik mereka parents around the possibility of death. The Brownsfaced end $150,000 in medical bills after Alex’s death, yet theywere covered by insurance.

Jeanne called students come tell their parents apa type that funeralthey wanted, what they want to be hidden in and what they wantedon anda headstones.

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“I had to feel guilty about what I hidden Alex in,” Jeanne said.“Our prayer is the the lanjut time you get in your car, girlfriend ignorethat phone and also the texts.”

To tanda the family’s pledge to no text and drive, visithttp://www.rememberalexbrownfoundation.org. Because that apps come preventcellphone use while driving quicker than 10 mph, visithttp://www.phoneguard.com. Because that reminders to put cellphones down,visit http://www.texttoggle.com.