Arrive Alive: Take Action to Stop Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is a problem plaguing highways across the nation and in the valley.

A Minnesota father is sharing his family’s tragic story at high schools across the state in the hopes that others won’t share his fate.

Cell phones have become an integral part of 21st century life.

We text, talk, Instagram, Snapchat, tweet, and check Facebook with them.

We make the choice every day to use our cell phones to remain connected nearly around the clock.

And it’s that choice that can lead to tragedy our on roadways.

When tragedy struck, a father did more than just grieve … he found the inspiration to help others.

“I took a step to advocate it because of who my daughter was – not because of who I am but who she was.  She wanted to really impact the world in a positive way.  It’s very honoring to her memory to try and make a positive impact in other students’ lives,” said Matt Logan, who lost his daughter, DJ, in September 2012 when she died in a car crash.

DJ was texting and driving when her vehicle hit the back of a school bus.

Now the Byron, Minnesota father is vowing to share her story to prevent others from making the same mistake.

“I believe in order to change the impact of distracted driving,” said Logan. “Then our culture needs to change in how it views it.”  Every time Matt Logan speaks to students, he knows that he’s making a difference.  “If one student goes away with something, I’m okay with that because that makes a difference for a whole family.”

And most of the time, it’s with people that he never even met before.

“Every time I see that text that I get from a person,” said Carly Ulven, a Hawley resident who knew friends of DJ Logan. “I just try to put it down.  Even – I know phone calls aren’t good – but it’s better than a text sometimes, so I just really try to think and be conscious of what I’m doing while I’m driving.”

Carly also had some simple advice for anyone tempted to use their phone while driving.

“‘Arrive Alive’ and that’s what stuck out to me, so your parents can wait hours and days without hearing from you, but as long as they do hear from you and that you stay alive and make the choice to put down your phone.”

The most important point that both Matt and Carly made is that driving distracted is a choice.

Texting and driving is the most dangerous form of distracted driving because it takes drivers’ eyes from the road, takes their minds from the act of driving, and takes a hand off the steering wheel.

They asked all of us to put our phones away while driving and “Arrive Alive.”

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