Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers Announces Virginia Distracted Driving Awareness Scholarships Winners
Distracted driving is a massive problem in Virginia. Smartphones and other distractions caused 24,350 crashes, more than 13,700 injuries, and 126 deaths in the Commonwealth in 2018.
Statistically, young people are more likely to drive distracted and to become victims of texting at the wheel. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers is pleased to award three scholarships to young people who are well aware of the hazards posed by modern technology and are determined to do something about it. John Lindsay IV from Suffolk, Justin Allen from the Isle of the Wight, and Tyari Taylor from Hampton each received $2,000 towards their studies when they won our 2019 Virginia Distracted Driving Awareness Scholarship. Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers also awarded $2,000 to our national scholarship winner, Elyse Colihan from Roseville, Minnesota.
John Lindsay recently graduated from Nansemond River High School in Suffolk where he is a member of the Robotics Club and a member of Future Business Leaders of America.
He is a member of the National Society of High School Scholars and was recognized by Suffolk Public Schools and honored by the Hampton Roads Committee of 200+ Men, Inc. for his academic excellence. Lindsay has a YouTube channel where he creates stop-motion animations, computer animations, and live-action short films. The scholarship will help him when he attends Virginia Beach’s Regent University in the fall. He will be majoring in Cinema-Television.
Lindsay wrote in his winning essay that the problem of distracted driving often slips under the radar in the United States. He advocates radar and other more powerful enforcement techniques to fight back against the distracted driving problem.
“These systems come with lenses that are capable of detecting whether a driver is on his phone or engaging in any other distraction that might put not only his life in danger but also the lives of the others around him,” Linsday wrote in his essay. “The focus of these cameras are Community Safety Zones that have been created with the intent of protecting both pedestrians and drivers. The police are taking a more active role in the detection and abolishment of distracted driving. Combining these cameras with hefty fines will hopefully encourage drivers to be more cautious on the roads considering the heightened police presence, harsher penalties, and new cameras with ever-improving technology and features.”
Lindsay warned as many as 3,000 teens pay the ultimate price of distracted driving every year on the highways of America when they lose their lives.
Justin Allen from Carrollton in the Isle of Wight graduated from Smithfield High School this summer. He will be majoring in nursing and Army ROTC at Old Dominion University in Norfolk in the fall. He aims to become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist and a U.S. Army Commissioned Officer
“I want to serve my country and help provide quality medical care to those in need,” he said. Allen, 17, is a certified lifeguard who has been a member of Army JROTC for the last four years.
In his essay, Allen pointed out that there are many different types of dangerous distraction other than smartphones.
“Distracted driving is any action of a driver while operating a vehicle that could take their attention away from the road. This includes eating, drinking, interacting with a pet, arguing, searching a purse, applying makeup, and using a cell phone or tuning your radio,” he wrote.
Allen backed a high-profile national ad campaign that highlights the “emotional and legal ramifications of distracted driving.”
“It should focus on how distracted driving can take a life, create a physical disability, create a loss of income and financial hardships. This would ensure that drivers and non-drivers are aware and reminded of the dangers and legal costs of distractions while driving,” he wrote.
Tyari Taylor, 18, a graduate of Kecoughtan High School in Hampton, is pursuing a computer engineering degree at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
He hopes his studies will ultimately allow him to provide advanced robotic prosthetics to Americans in the future. Taylor put forward a high-tech solution to America’s distracted driving epidemic in his essay, arguing for accelerometers to be fitted in cars.
“Accelerometers are a type of technology that measures the acceleration of the device using a ‘MEMS’ style chip,” he wrote. “MEMS stands for Micro Electrical Mechanical Systems, which means that the chip uses motion from electrons in the circuit and gravitational forces to feed signals to the motherboard and determine what position it is in. Most smartphones already possess this device. It is how a smartphone can tell when to rotate the screen or when to readjust while using GPS functions.”
Taylor advocated a bill in Congress that would require phone manufacturers to install a program on every smartphone on the market. The program would disable phone data services after a vehicle reaches 25-miles-per-hour.
“Although this may not entirely eradicate distracted driving, this would greatly restrict the amount of activities one can engage in on a device, subsequently reducing the number of accidents involving a cell phone,” he wrote.
We are grateful to the winners for their innovative ideas and the many young people who submitted entries to our Virginia distracted driving awareness scholarship and our national competition.
Learn More from a Virginia Beach Distracted Driving Lawyer
Find out more about our distracted driving awareness scholarship on our website and look out for the 2020 competition. If you or a loved one has been hurt in an accident caused by a distracted driver, please call us today for a free consultation.