Today, I was graciously invited back to speak at the 2013 YIELD Teen Driver Safety Summit organized by the Teen Driver Safety Summit Youth Advisory Board and Shaler High School senior, Maddie Seel. I was greeted with an "Edgar! Edgar! Edgar!" chant as I walked to the front of the gymnasium to speak about my personal experience dealing with distracted driving accidents. The energy in the room from this wonderful group of students was nothing short of amazing.
During my speech I asked the students, "If you were in a car with a driver who was texting and driving, what would you do?" One girl answered my question by telling me that her dad was texting and driving when she told him that she wanted to get out of the car if he was going to be distracted while driving. I was so proud to hear this and the answers that followed, which were all very similar. The majority of the students told me that they had no problem telling a driver to stop texting. After all, their lives were at stake.
Drivers should be more responsible on focusing on the road, rather than that text they got from their friend @edgarsnyder— Chaz Gutierrez (@SteezCh33z) December 4, 2013
Following my speech, I was asked if I would mind staying around to take some photos with the students. Wow – talk about making someone feel good! These students were so fun to be around, I even learned a thing or two about "selfies" and the "duck face." Below is a video of my time with these students:
While I had an enjoyable time at this event, I want to make it clear the importance of making smart choices when behind the wheel. Whether it is texting and driving or drinking and driving, I want to get the message out to these students that it just isn't worth it. I hope they can look back on today and remember the important messages they heard to stay safe as they all have bright futures in front of them.