A little over seven years ago, I got a call from a long time client of mine. Little did I know, this call was about to change the way I look at my business and how I help my clients.
When I answered the phone, I knew instantly something was terribly wrong. He’s voice was strained and I could tell he was about to tell me something really bad. Then the words came out. “Tom, my son Chris died Sunday night in a car accident.” My heart sunk. There was a long pause and I could tell he was in the worst pain any father could ever experience.
I didn’t know what to say. Then he struggled to talk and began to break down. I tried to comfort him and told him, he needn’t worry about his insurance and the consequences of the accident right now. He had to concentrate on his family and I’ll handle the insurance issues.
You know, we hear about these stories all the time. Many more kids have died in accidents since and it reminds every time, that there is a mother and father going through the worst pain possible.
It’s just not right. Parents should never have to bury their kids.
You see, as an independent insurance agent, I protect the property and financial future of thousands of Triad families just like you. But it wasn’t until I received this phone call that I realized I wasn’t helping protect the most important thing in my clients’ lives- their children.
I Never Want to Get a Phone Call Like This Again!
Shortly after this phone call, I called a long time client and friend of mine. He was an accident investigator with the High Point Police Department. (He’s also the father of four drivers.) I asked him to stop by my office when he had a minute and that I had something to discuss with him.
Officer Jim Poer (now retired) has stopped by my office numerous times over the years just to chat. Most of our conversations were about accidents and many involving teen drivers. I have always known that he hated the part of his job when he had to work an accident involving teenagers. And the most dreaded part of his job is to have to knock on a parent’s door.
We decided that day in my office that there must be something we could do to help parents never have to experience losing their child.
So, Officer Poer and I teamed up to make a difference. We started by providing free seminars to parents and teen drivers educating them on the most common mistakes teens make behind the wheel and about the need for quality liability protection. After several of these seminars, I heard about a teen driving program in Wilmington, NC. I called the director of the program and asked if Jim and I could come down to watch it in action.
When we arrived on a beautiful Saturday morning, we watched the students arrive with long faces. It was the last place they wanted to be on a summer’s day within just a few miles of the beach. However, something very interesting happened. As the instructors began their presentations and the students got behind the wheel in the driving exercises, we saw the kids smiling, asking questions and having fun while learning some very valuable lessons.
It was then that Jim and I decided we needed to bring the StreetSafe Teen Driving Program to Guilford County. We approached District Court Judge Thomas Jarrell to see if we could get the program approved as an option for young drivers to reduce the penalties for driving infractions. Judge Jarrell went to work and got the support of the court system which now provides StreetSafe enough students to conduct regular monthly events. Of course, teens don’t have to get a ticket to come to the event. Actually, we want more kids to come before they make a mistake!
Every day 19 teenagers are killed in this country in car accidents. So, what causes these accidents?
It boils down to inexperience and the fact that they just don’t realize how dangerous a car really is. StreetSafe gives them the experience of what happens when mistakes are made. They learn what it’s like to lose control of a car, how distractions cause accidents and much more.
So, how can you prevent a tragedy happening to your family? Get your child to StreetSafe. Here’s their website so you can find out about the next event: www.streetsafeus.com.