I have been involved with OSAID in my school for 5 years now. I have had the privilege to meet fascinating people with inspirational, motivational stories to tell. I believe that OSAID has an amazing purpose and that everyone can make a difference, whether you aren’t driving yet, have been driving for 5 weeks, or 5 years. Impaired driving can have an effect on everyone, and as a group, OSAID tries to eliminate those chances.
I am currently part of the executives for my school chapter, and one of the Eastern Regional Representatives for this great organization. It is my job to share OSAID’s message and the impacts of impaired driving, and to get as many people as possible to join. Together, we make a bigger difference. This is why I joined OSAID: to make a difference.
My name is Hillary and when I was 15 I was in a head-on collision. I spent a month in the hospital and 6 months in a hospital bed in my home, unable to walk or do anything for myself. Now, I am undergoing many therapies, dealing with anxiety and chronic pain due to my accident.
As I am recovering, I feel as though I should share my story with teens and inform them about the risks of impaired driving. Even though my accident was not my fault, because someone else was impaired, I now suffer the consequences.
I joined OSAID when I was in Grade 9. To be completely honest, at the time I only joined because my best friend had joined. It was only months after when I started to recogonize what it was OSAID was all about. I had never experienced the loss of a loved one because of an impaired driving crash and I am relieved to say that I still haven’t. But for some reason, every time I listened to someone’s else story I felt it. I felt as if it had been my brother, or mother or best friend that had died. I felt their losses as if the were my own. I began to realize the tragedy of these crashes, and the impacts they had on the families and friends of the loved ones. I began to be an avid OSAID member. It became a passion of mine to spread the message OSAID has to bring.
It wasn’t until a year later that I experienced my first impaired driving crash. On my way to church one morning I watched a truck
get T-boned in an intersection by a little car. This little car was travelling so quickly that it had the power to knock the truck that was 3 times it size almost completely on its side. In that truck were four young men that went to my school. They were coming back from a party from the night before and did not realize that the alcohol had not completely left the driver’s system. Under the influence of alcohol and his friends’ pressure, the driver had decided to turn left on a red light not realizing the danger. Having seen the videos and heard the stories, I was absolutely terrified to get close to the scene for fear of what I would actually see. Luckily, there were only a few minor injuries. The woman in the car did have a serious concussion and a twisted spine, and I believe she later went into surgery for another injury but I’m not sure about the details. Of the four boys, two were noticeably injured and were taken to the hospital. After the shock began to wear off the boys began to realize just how lucky they really were.
Since then I have had to watch one of my closest friends lose her cousin in an impaired driving crash where she had been texting while driving on the highway. To watch a friend go through that it absolutely one of the worst things I have had to experience.
I know that OSAID has probably one of the most intense messages, but also one of the most important messages that everyone needs to hear, especially in our generation. OSAID’s fight against impaired driving is a fight I’ve taken on as my own, and I hope more and more people do as well.