'Hang Up and Drive' Simulation, Talk Teaches Distracted Driving Dangers

In May 2008, a driver talking on a cell phone crashed into a car carrying Jacy Good, a new college graduate heading home from commencement with her mom and dad.

Her parents were killed, and Good landed in the hospital with only a 10 percent chance of surviving. She made it - and now dedicates her life to educating the world on the dangers of distracted driving.

Good, a world-renowned speaker who's shared her story with Oprah and the United Nations, will take up the topic at Harper College this month with a free "Hang Up and Drive!" discussion aimed at preventing future distracted-driving tragedies and teaching students about the risks they take when they text behind the wheel.

The discussion, at 7 p.m. Tuesday, February 21, will follow a hands-on simulation activity allowing attendees to experience driving-while-texting dangers firsthand. Participants will have to follow specific driving directions while simultaneously punching in answers to multiple-choice questions on a flip phone.

"Emulating a real-life situation will hopefully show students how easily accidents can occur," says Harper student Jalen Little, who helped bring Good to campus. "Harper is very vulnerable to these situations, because we're a community college with students constantly commuting."

Each day, more than 15 people are killed and more than 1,200 are injured in crashes reported to involve a distracted driver. In a 2010 survey, more than half of U.S. drivers between the ages 18 and 29 reported having texted or emailed while driving at least once in the previous 30 days.

Good's talk will be held in Harper's J Theatre, Room J143 in Building J on the main campus, 1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine. The simulator will be available from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 21 in the J Theatre lobby.

For tickets to the free event, call 847.925.6100 or visit the Online Box Office. 

Contact: Erin Brooks, Media Relations Manager, 847.925.6159.