Hang Up and Drive

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Hang Up and Drive

The vehicle Jacy and her parents were in following their car accident in May 2008.

During a speaking engagement, Jacy discusses the dangers of cell phone use while driving.

Jacy and her family at her college graduation the morning of their accident.

Jacy and her husband dance together as part of Jacy’s rehabilitation sessions following the accident.

A recent photo of Jacy and her husband, Steve Johnson.

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.@JacyGood spoke to @AECOM employees about her campaign #HangUpandDrive. Read her story on the #AECOMImpact blog: http://bit.ly/1bUEZk0
Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 9:05am

CAMPAIGN: Safety for Life

CONTENT: Blog

AECOM Impact blog

Jacy Good, co-founder of Hang Up and Drive, a campaign that advocates for cell phone-free roads, spoke at a recent industry event attended by AECOM employees during the company’s Safety Week at the end of April. In her recent blog post, Good retells her story and makes the case for banning all forms of cell phone use while driving.

While my parents and I drove home from my college graduation in May 2008, we were involved in a three-vehicle collision caused by a driver talking hands-free on his cell phone, doing what we’re often told is “safe.” The dairy truck that struck our family station wagon put an end to my parents’ 58 years of life and left me with a 10-percent chance of surviving the night. Impeccable medical care kept me alive and four months later, after several potentially deadly setbacks, I was stable enough to return home. It was then that I began to understand what happened to leave me in such excruciating physical and emotional pain.

Since that day seven years ago, I have learned to live in my partially paralyzed body and spend my days trying to prevent other families from having to endure the agony that touched my life. I began by working toward stricter legislation regarding cell phone use behind the wheel, with moderate success. Today, I live in New York state, where we have some of the strongest laws in the entire country, and I have yet to find a day where I haven’t seen a driver making the phone a priority over the road.

As a result, my mission has transformed from legislation to behavioral and cultural change. Laws don’t necessarily change habits, but helping people to understand the very real potential ramifications of their actions through education can and has made that change. In the last four years, I’ve been privileged to share my story at more than 500 different events nationwide, including the recent Enbridge Pipeline Construction Safety Roundtable that many AECOM employees attended in Dallas, Texas, during their company’s Safety Week.

The largest of my goals in these presentations is to dispel the notion that texting is the main culprit in distracted-driving crashes. According to the U.S. National Safety Council, it is actually cell phone calls, not texting, that cause the significant majority of the approximately 1.4 million phone-related crashes on U.S. roads annually. Additionally, there are more than 30 studies proving that a hands-free device does almost nothing to alleviate the danger; it is the cognitive demand of the conversation that makes the driver four times more likely to crash, not whether or not the phone is being held. This doesn’t mean that it is safe to text and drive, but this information is meant to point out the real danger of talking on the phone while driving — hands-free or not.

Over time, public knowledge and laws will reflect this reality, but for now, it is up to us to make the change in our driving habits. There is encouraging headway being made in the corporate world, including at AECOM. Well over half of all Fortune 500 companies have banned employee cell phone use while driving. Polls have shown that 83 percent of those individuals whose companies ban distracted driving have reduced or eliminated their phone use while driving on their own time as well.

When it comes down to it, this is a human issue. These crashes might impact corporations, but they destroy families and ripple throughout entire communities. Momentum is building, and I urge you to join the fight. Do it for yourself, for your family and for everyone else who shares the road with you. It’s as simple as this — Hang Up and Drive.

Visit the AECOM Impact blog to read more blog posts on the importance of safety!

About AECOM
AECOM is a premier, fully integrated professional and technical services firm positioned to design, build, finance and operate infrastructure assets around the world for public- and private-sector clients. With nearly 100,000 employees — including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals — serving clients in over 150 countries around the world, AECOM is ranked as the #1 engineering design firm by revenue in Engineering News-Record magazine’s annual industry rankings, and has been recognized by Fortune magazine as a World’s Most Admired Company. The firm is a leader in all of the key markets that it serves, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, oil and gas, water, high-rise buildings and government. AECOM provides a blend of global reach, local knowledge, innovation and technical excellence in delivering customized and creative solutions that meet the needs of clients’ projects. A Fortune 500 firm, AECOM companies, including URS Corporation and Hunt Construction Group, had revenue of approximately $19 billion during the 12 months ended March 31, 2015. More information on AECOM and its services can be found at www.aecom.com.

Media Contact:
Ed Mayer
Vice President, Corporate Communications
732.564.3380
Ed.Mayer@aecom.com

Keywords: Social Impact & Volunteering | AECOM | Cell Phone | Community Engagement | Danger | Education | Positive Change | Social Change | Youth Action | actions speak | advocate

CAMPAIGN: Safety for Life

CONTENT: Blog