April 9, 2012
It only takes a second.
"The car was coming right at me at a high speed and I just remember saying, No," said Patty Grimm, a volunteer for the X THA TXT campaign.
Eleven months ago, Grimm was hit head-on by another car on Route 20. That driver was killed at the scene.
"I thought, This is it, I'm not going to survive it," she recalled. But she did survive, and after four months in a wheelchair and physical therapy multiple times a week, Grimm is walking and talking about what happened.
"What happened with me, it was literally two seconds and I was hit head-on. I don't want anyone to have to go through what I've been through and that's why I want to be a part of this," said Grimm.
She has teamed up with the MichieHamlett Law Firm and its X THA TXT campaign to spread her message. She'll travel with representatives to area high schools to warn teens about the dangers of distracted driving.
"Anything that takes their attention away from driving their car is extremely dangerous," said Greg Webb, attorney at MichieHamlett.
Trial lawyers across the nation are taking part in the campaign, which began in 2009 when lawyer Joel Feldman lost his 21-year-old daughter after she was hit by a driver who was texting.
"We have nine or ten events scheduled this month to education students and adults about the dangers," said Webb.
The message does not stop with students. On April 16, Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Huja will sign a proclamation declaring April Distracted Driving Awareness month in Charlottesville.
"It's a large problem but a good education hopefully that will reduce these distractions," said Mayor Huja, who points out that 80 percent of all collisions are caused by distracted drivers.
To learn more about X THA TXT, click here