When I was being taught how to drive, I was given the ABC’s of getting started. I don’t mean the how-to’s or the what-to-do’s, I mean the actual ABC:
A – Always Adjust for safety
B – Buckle your seatbelt
C – Check your steering wheel, mirrors, back seat and all your lights.
The ABC’s have become part of my everyday driving habits but that is not always the case. Unfortunately this was the case with Tad and Jona Johnson who live in Loveland, CO. Their 19-year-old daughter, Alexa, died in a car crash in February of 2013. She did not buckle her seatbelt and her truck flipped while driving on Interstate 25. They grieve not only the loss of their daughter but also regret the fact that they did not make more of an effort to ensure their daughter was driving safely.
Among the grief, Tad and Jona Johnson started a movement known as Alexa’s Hugs. They called it Alexa’s Hugs because the thing they missed the most about their daughter was her loving and caring hugs and they wanted to share those memories with their community.
It did not stop at their community however. This movement spread through the “magic” of social media they discovered after the tragedy occurred. Jona started making decorated bands to go on seatbelts to help remind her friends to buckle their seatbelts. She started quickly receiving orders by her friends and friends of the family. Then they both started to receive messages from people across the country about their movement. The messages contained shared grief, messages of the impact their story had on them and more requests for the bands known as Alexa’s Hugs.
Today the Johnson family has sent out thousands of bands and spread the message of Alexa’s Hugs across the nation. Their message is simple, “Buckle Up.”
The Johnsons have started school campaigns where they encourage the students to spread driving safety messages to each other by word-of-mouth and social media. Jona says, “They will be sharing messages with their other school mates about not just seat belts but vehicle safety. That student-to-student and peer-to-peer messaging is so important. They all use the social media. They could give us lessons.”
Not only has Alexa’s Hugs become a successful, licensed non-profit, but they have also teamed with other parents who have lost a loved one due to a lack of safety while driving. Their messages reach us all and we all should spread the word to our loved ones and to our community.
We at Southern Colorado Insurance Center want you to spread the Johnson’s message to everyone you know and visit Alexa’s Hugs website to read more about the story of the Johnsons. Please always remember to buckle up and be safe while driving your vehicles. We have tips on how to drive safely in some of our other blog posts.
Remember that if you have any questions regarding the safety or protection of yourself, your business, or your family you can give Debbie a call at (719) 329-4441 or email us at youarefirst [at] scicteam [dot] com. To see all of the services and policies we offer, visit our website at http://www.scicteam.com/ and PLEASE DRIVE SAFE!