Speed Killed Adam Jacobson
SPEED KILLS...I DID IT
I graduated from High School, just barely, at loose ends and a bit depressed. I lived at home with my Mom and started a job. I wanted to join the Service, but failed the drug test. I had started smoking pot, in 11th grade and about 6 months after graduation started using cocaine.
My mom was worried about me, but didn't know what to do. One of my sisters lived at home with her 3-year-old child, so there wasn't much privacy. I spent a lot of time away from home with friends partying. One day I decided to make a change and applied for school at Dunwoody for auto repair. Before I started school, I had stopped smoking pot and using cocaine. I even, changed friends so I wouldn't do drugs. But I was still depressed.
Now my problem was speeding. Driving fast gave me, a good feeling. While attending school, I was also doing a lot of motor work on my car, a Toyota Supra. One day Adam, a fellow student I attended school with wanted to ride in my car. I was supposed to be going to work, but I was proud of my fast car and decided to show off to him first. We left school, going very fast. I lost control right by school and we crashed into a freeway support. He wasn't wearing his seat belt and was killed on impact. I knew he was dead, even if he wasn't bloody. I was hurt badly, but got out of the car. I don't remember much about the crash to this day.
It hit me hard at first that I had killed someone by speeding. I wasn't drunk. I was only speeding. I learned all through school not to drink and drive. But speeding wasn't considered offensive. Society says a drunk driver is a bad person, but doesn't label you a sleazy person if you speed. I even got two more speeding tickets while waiting to go to court for killing Adam.
I think I was still looking for the high from speeding, so I didn't have to think about what I had done. I had killed someone. I quit school immediately, three weeks before graduation. I will never go back. I was sentenced to jail, but my case was not considered a felony, as I was not on drugs. I lost my license for seven months.
I got off way to easy. I know I should have spent more time in jail. Society has to change its' views on speeding. Even my family let me off too easy. They were too supportive. I wish someone in my family would have yelled and told me I had really f... up. Only the Judge got after me. I feel tremendous quilt with regard to Adam's family and still have not spoken or written to them. I know I have to do something, Working with Minnesotans for Safe Driving is my first step. I'm sorry about killing Adam and how I have hurt his family.
If my story gets one person to stop speeding, maybe I will forgive myself a little.
Adams Parents - Our Thoughts
On May 18th, 2000 at 2:23 p.m. with Adam's last breath, our lives changed forever!
Adam was to come home the next day for Sarah's (his sister) college graduation. Instead we got the visit that is every parent's nightmare. We received a visit from our minister and the local town patrolman letting us know Adam had been killed in a single car accident in Minneapolis. That was the beginning of our nightmare.
That afternoon Adam had gotten into a car driven by David Bingeman after they had finished classes at the two year technical college they both attended. David had driven that road for the last 2 years and knew the speed limit was 35 miles per hour with' a stop sign not very far away. Yet he chose to go 75 miles per hour.
As he put on the brakes to stop for the stop sign, he lost control of the car he was driving, It swerved around and Adam's body hit a 3 foot diameter support pole at 40 miles per hour. Killing him instantly. There was no chance for Adam to survive at all. David's stupidity and carelessness for life took any of our chances away to help Adam.
Adam was to have graduated from Dunwoody Institute with an associate degree in auto collision in just 3 weeks and was planning to move back to his hometown. Adam would be living in his own place and working for us in our family business and at a local body shop. He couldn't wait to get back to the small town and be only blocks from us. His friends at Dunwoody liked the way he was kind to everyone and always had a smile and a wave from his purple Ford Ranger that he drove. Adam had dreams and goals for himself. We also had dreams of our future with Adam. David, with one reckless decision, had destroyed not only Adam's life but our lives and that of his sister. The enormous affect of Adam's death was felt by his family, friends, classmates, teachers and anyone else that had the opportunity to meet Adam during his short 20 years of life. We now have to live with our memories and try to make a life without Adam. All because one person decided to be reckless and use speeding as a high.
As you read this, don't for a minute, think that this can't happen to you, your friends, or your parents. If you choose to use speeding as your 'high" it could be you or your friends in Adam's place. It could be your parents getting the call saying that you were killed because one of your acquaintances decided to go beyond the speed limit and drive recklessly. Or it could be you having to look into your best friend's parent's eyes and see the pain, emptiness, and sorrow that we now feel.
Don't destroy your life and the lives of others by killing an innocent person by using your vehicle as. a weapon through speeding and reckless driving.
MANY INFORMATIVE ARTICLES ON SPEEDING
SICK OF SPEEDERS
By MSD Director Sharon Gehrman-Driscoll
Here we are beginning another holiday season; so many folks are worrying about their financial situation, which of course includes the price of gas. Realistically, we know there is no quick fix; we seem to have waited until we are always in a crisis to move on the issue. I have pulled up so many times at service stations and listened to people gripe about the price of gas. Well folks, sorry to say I think it is only going to get worse. The cost of gasoline at $1.50 per gallon is gone for sometime, perhaps never to be seen again in our lifetime. The other day I am traveling down Highway 19, the speed limit is 55, not sure if folks know what speed limit signs are for, they are NOT FOR HIGHWAY DECORATION. Anyway, someone goes by me about 73 miles an hour, at least. Of course, I am not a happy camper. He is not only risking my life, but he is using up more gas than necessary and this is one of the reasons we are all paying high prices. Low and behold, who do I see at the pump complaining to the person next to him about the price of gas, my friend the 73 mile per hour jerk! SPEEDERS are one of the reasons we have higher gas prices and crashes on our highways. You want to help to see prices reduced, SLOW DOWN AND DRIVE RESPONSIBLY. I sure don’t want one of my family members becoming a statistic because of an irresponsible driver, do you?
Facts about Speeding
*Speeding is one of the most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crashes. Speeding reduces a driver’s ability to steer safely around curves or objects in the roadway, extends the distance necessary to stop a vehicle, and increases the distance a vehicle travels while a driver reacts to a dangerous situation.
*Higher crash speeds also reduce the ability of vehicle, restraint system, and roadway hardware such as guardrails, barriers, and impact attenuators to protect vehicle occupants
*Speeding is a factor in 30 percent of all fatal crashes. About 1,000 fatalities resulted from speeding-related motor vehicle traffic crashes every month.
*Saturdays have the highest number of speeding-related fatal crashes, followed by Sundays and Fridays. The number of speeding-related fatalities is the highest in arterial roads followed by local/collector roads and finally interstates.
*About 40 percent of speeding-related fatalities occurred on a curve, nearly twice the proportion of non-speeding related fatalities that occurred on a curve.
*Male drivers are more likely to be involved in speeding-related fatal crashes than female drivers among drivers of all ages. The relative proportion of speeding drivers decreases with increased driver age.
*About 41 percent of intoxicated drivers (BAC= 0.08+) involved in fatal crashes were
speeding, compared to only about 14 percent of the sober drivers. Over the years, while the
percentage of intoxicated drivers who were speeding drivers has decreased slightly, the
percentage of sober drivers who were also speeding has been relatively constant.
*Motorcycle operators had the highest proportion, as a percent of all motorcycle drivers involved in fatal crashes, to be speeding. Motorcycle operators involved in fatal crashes were about twice as likely as drivers of SUVs and pickup trucks to be speeding in 2002.
*In speeding-related single-vehicle fatal crashes, most of the fatalities occur in “rural” roadway class. There is an increase of speeding-related crash fatalities in “local” roadway function class in recent years for both “rural” and “urban” roadways.
*Trends of individual statewide speeding-related fatal crashes were also studied. Distinct patterns of speeding-related fatal crashes have been found to be associated with specific regional grouping of states. Western states have a higher percent of speeding-related fatalities as compared to the Eastern half of the US
National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 400 Seventh St., S.W., Washington, DC 20590