High School Students Use Poetry to Highlight Dangers of Distracted Driving

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McDivitt Law Firm releases the video of a slam poem by students of Manitou High School that encourages everyone to “Look Up.”

“We have learned that one simple word can take your life. Every decision we make has an impact on someone else and to drive distracted is just not smart."

Public Service Announcements, billboards, and bracelets have all been used to encourage drivers to stop looking at their cell phones. But five Manitou Springs High School students are using a different approach: they wrote a slam poem to get the message across. With April being Distracted Driving Awareness Month, McDivitt Law Firm wanted to release their poem on video for everyone to see.

“Everything today is an instant.
Text messages, electrical synapses.
Every point a to point b distance
Happens in the blink of an eye,
But ten minute car rides
Can stretch endlessly.
Forgot to protect my ears
From the cold.
There is no autocorrect here.”

Isabel Dufford (12th grade), Daisy Erickson (12th grade), Aubrey Hall (9th grade), Hannah Kimmett (11th grade), and Carter Sandras (12th grade), are members of the Manitou Springs High School slam poetry team. The five of them were approached by their school’s student council about possibly writing a slam poem for the Drive Smart Colorado High School Traffic Safety Challenge. So, the “slammers” sat down to write. They began with the topic “be home in ten.” What resulted is a powerful appeal from five different perspectives of reasons why people think it’s okay to send a quick text.

“We have learned that one simple word can take your life,” said Carter Sandras. “Every decision we make has an impact on someone else and to drive distracted is just not smart. We have also been amazed by the response to the group slam and how it's impacting people!”

“I first heard the poem when the five students read it out loud at a parent night,” said Maile Gray, Executive Director of Drive Smart Colorado. “I was so moved by the words, passion and also the time they spent really thinking about how they were going to read it.” For this contribution during the 2014 High School Traffic Safety Challenge, the students each received an award plaque with their individual names on it. “This will be a hard act to follow next year for sure,” added Gray.

Representatives from McDivitt Law Firm heard the slam poem during the Drive Smart Colorado awards ceremony and were so moved by it they asked the students to perform it on video. With the sponsorship of McDivitt Law Firm and Drive Smart Colorado, “Look Up” can now be found online at http://mcdivittlaw.com/poetry-slam-highlights-distracted-driving/.

McDivitt Makes A Difference
Whether McDivitt Law Firm pays for safe cab rides home, sponsors local education programs, or supports area charities, the law firm is committed to helping others. That’s why it created McDivitt Makes A Difference—a year‐round program that encompasses all of its community efforts. To learn more, visit http://www.McDivittMakesADifference.com.

About McDivitt Law Firm
McDivitt Law Firm is a Colorado-based law firm that has been providing legal representation to injured victims and their families throughout the state of Colorado for more than 40 years. Founded by Mike and Karen McDivitt, McDivitt Law Firm has an experienced team of lawyers, paralegals, and support staff who provide their clients with caring and thorough legal service. Visit http://www.McDivittLaw.com to learn more.

About Drive Smart Colorado
Drive Smart Colorado, with a strong 25+ year track record of enhancing traffic safety, has a variety of successful, proven, educational campaigns that can be customized for your locale and audience. Drive Smart is a community leader in traffic safety, creating programs that increase seat belt use, promote substance-free driving, impart positive behind-the-wheel behavior, boost motorcycle safety, enhance pedestrian safety, and make a demonstrable difference in school bus safety, safe teen driving and child passenger safety. To learn more visit http://www.drivesmartcolorado.com/.

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Lisa McDivitt
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