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Although I would much rather memorialize the birth of a loved one than their passing, tomorrow is the second anniversary of the passing of a young woman who meant so very much to me; someone I have written about on our shared birthday in March since she was taken from us.

Two years ago, in a senseless automobile accident, we lost Sara Kaufman.  I am saddened by the loss of a force of nature who I know was on her way to making a big difference in many lives as she worked towards entering public life.  I grieve for Saraís friends and family members, and I do not know how I will be able to get through the years without our traditional birthday phone call filled with the life, love and Saraisms that tripped off her tongue, making me smile no matter what else was going on in my life.

Saraís death is made more poignant by some of the disturbing statistics regarding distracted driving as the person who hit her car was, by all accounts, distracted by texting.

  • In 2009, the year of Saraís accident, there were 30,797 fatal crashes in the United States, which involved 45,230 drivers. In those crashes, 33,808 people died.
  • In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction (16% of total fatalities).
  • The portion of drivers reportedly distracted at the time of the fatal crashes increased from 7 percent in 2005 to 11 percent in 2009.  (

I admit that it is sometimes hard not to peek at my cell phone for text messages while in my car; but as a family caregiver, I stop myself because I simply cannot think of a single phone call or text that is worth adding to these statistics. Can you?  


Gary Barg

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