Rachel Jenkins is a Utah-based social-media influencer with an audience of around 12,500 Instagram followers. She usually posts content about lifestyle, beauty, parenting, and travel. However, recently, she started using her weight on social media to promote the ideas of safe driving after her father survived by a miracle in a severe car crash, The Insider reports.
In April, a driver hit Jenkins’ father’s car at 60 miles per hour. He had multiple injuries, including four fractured ribs and three fractured vertebrae, and they thought he would not pull through it. The driver of the other car was reportedly distracted by phone use.
She shared a picture of the car after the accident on her Instagram and called upon her audience to stand up against distracted driving. She asked her followers to flag pictures or videos that might have been taken while driving.
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THIS right here is why distracted driving is something I will ALWAYS stand up for. My dad was at a red light when a middle aged women was driving while on her phone and rear ended my dad going 60mph. My dad suffered MANY injuries and spent 2 weeks in the hospital, 2 weeks in a rehab center, months in a wheelchair, then months with a walker. Distracted driving takes the lives of innocent people daily lives lost on the road are lives that are lost under completely avoidable situations. To all the lives lost on roads because of distracted driving WE MISS YOU. WE’RE FIGHTING FOR STRICTURE LAWS, YOUR LOSS WILL NOT BE IN VAIN, and we’re using your story to inspire others to practice safe driving habits too!!!!!!! The day we stop standing up for what’s right is the day we’ve lost ourselves. We have a voice for a reason. Use your voice to inspire change. LOVE ALL OF YOU THAT I KNOW FROM THIS LITTLE PLATFORM!?? #textinganddriving #distracteddriving
The influencer tries to persuade people to stop using their phones when driving by writing messages to those who share selfies or videos that might have been taken while behind the wheel.
She sent hundreds of messages since April, sharing her personal story and explaining why it is dangerous and what are the potential consequences.
One of such posts to an Instagram user with kids in their car went viral in Reddit.
“I sent my usual message to a user who had posted videos of themselves on their Instagram Story while they were driving with kids in the car. The user told me to ‘mind my own business’ and that I was a ‘know it all,’ but really, I just want to do what I can to potentially save people’s lives on the road. I never want to come across as being judgmental,” Jenkins said.
However, later, the user shared their conversation on an Instagram story that was later recorded and posted on Reddit. The thread has received over 900 “upvotes” and hundreds of comments, while Jenkins started receiving even more reports on distracted driving from Instagram users.
She hopes that this push will help to make the conversation about distracted driving more productive and eventually save someone’s life.
“Whether it’s 300 people, 100 people, 10,000 people — I think people don’t fully recognize the opportunity that they have with any size of the audience to be able to make a difference. If I’m only getting one person not to drive while on their phone, that has the potential to save people’s lives,” she said.