In one quick second, a Tennessee teen's life was forever changed when he crashed the car he was driving into a tree. The accident caused the then 16-year-old driver to fracture his ribs, pelvis and vertebrae. Injuries sustained in the crash also led to some of his organs needing to be removed.
Now, more than a year after that near-fatal accident, the teen and his mother are very involved with outreach and education revolving around teen driving restrictions, and have even traveled to Washington, D.C., for the release of "The 2012 Roadmap to State Highway Safety Laws."
Looking back at the October 2010 accident, the teen's family believes that right before losing control, their son had quickly glanced down. In just those few split seconds from taking his eyes off the road, the distraction was enough for him to swerve, overcorrect, spin and crash into a tree.
Fortunately, the 16-year-old driver did survive, and no one else was injured in the crash. But, sadly, this is not always the case, and sometimes those who just happen to also be out driving on the roadways are also injured.
In general, it's important to remember that even though Tennessee is considered to be one of the safer states in terms of driving, there were still more than 1,000 motor vehicle-related fatalities last year, and the risk of a personal injury from a car or truck accident is still very real. And, while a driver may think that quickly looking down at a text message -- or glancing over to change a radio station is not a big deal -- those few seconds of not paying attention to the road, could end up being the matter between life and death.