Reggie Shaw was 19 years old when he took the lives of two men by texting and driving. Reggie talks about his extreme regret for making the choice to text and drive. At 19 years old, he thought he was invincible. His young and immature self thought he could do no harm.
Since the accident, his life took a different turn. He wasn’t able to accomplish what he set out to do in his youth. In a way, he grieves the loss of three lives, one being the life he set out to live before the accident.
There are so many of us that are guilty of texting and driving. I myself thought that it was better to text when I was stopped, but that’s not safer. For most of us, texting and driving is a habit that we can break if we remember that a text is not worth the loss of someone’s life. When we chose to text and drive, we are making a selfish decision, putting our text as a higher priority than human life.
“I made a choice. There is no way around it. I was driving, I made a poor decision and I took two men away from families. That’s what is so hard for me. I see these families and I see that years later, some of them still struggle.”
“Texting while driving seemed easy, it seemed simple. It was such a small decision in my big life. That small decision effected so many people, so many different ways. I just wish I could go back and put my phone away–turn it off. I would’ve gone on, I wouldn’t be doing some of the things I’m doing today and I would be grateful.”
Reggie still wakes up to this day from reoccurring nightmares of the accident.
“This was 100% preventable. These accidents–my accident did not have to happen. The solution was simple. Just put my phone away and we would’ve passed each other on the road and continued with our lives.”
Remembering those men who lost their lives is a motivator for him. Reggie says, “Those were two men who were doing good with their lives. What kind of person would I be to not do the best that I can with mine?
Reggie hopes that through service and speaking about this tragedy, he can help save someone’s life in honor of the men who lost theirs. He’s filmed a documentary and speaks 52 times a year on the subject.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about what I did.”
To anyone who has hurt others by texting while driving, Reggie suggests reaching out to their families right away to express your remorse. He also suggests seeking professional emotional counsel. Thirdly, he suggests that they seek to help others and help prevent more tragedies.
At this point in his life, Reggie feels that there isn’t anything someone can do that doesn’t allow for forgiveness. He feels an extreme sense of empathy and grace for others. Service is also another big part of his life now. Talking to teens and other people is one of the most healing things for him.
“Living is enjoying what you are doing, but also being of value to all of the people who need you.”
To all of my viewers out there, I hope have been as touched and moved by Reggie’s story as I am. It can wait & I will not text while driving and I think that part of his message (despite the pain of retelling it) is that he wants to make sure that others don’t do the same thing and end up with a devastating result. I hope that you all take the challenge and know that it CAN wait. Please don’t text and drive or drive distracted in any way.
Watch Reggie in this profound documentary, Utah Texting While Driving PSA 1085-Echo: A Texting Tragedy
Learn more about Reggie and take the pledge to not text while driving: www.ut.zerofatalities.com
Stay tuned to www.KirstyTV.com for more exclusive and uplifting interviews. We will be sharing inspirational stories from everyday people, celebrities and experts every week. You can also subscribe to the KirstyTV Talk Show Podcast on iTunes.