This weekend, families across America will gather to honor fathers. But for Charlene Sligting, this time of year is a sad reminder of everything she lost.
It was four years ago to the day that her dad, 56-year-old John Sligting from Round Lake Beach, Illinois, left work on his motorcycle. On his way home, he was killed when a teen driver talking on her cell phone rolled through a stop sign and into his path.
"Distracted driving cost me my father, the most amazing person I will ever know," said Charlene Sligting. "I'll never have a chance to make new memories with him. My son will never get to know his grandfather."
Charlene is now part of the National Safety Council's HEARTS Network, a community of individuals and families who have been affected by crashes involving teen drivers. She is also a victim advocate who speaks out against distracted driving.
"Driving is a cognitive action and talking on your cell phone is a cognitive action. Our brains are not wired to toggle between two cognitive things."
Charlene hopes that sharing her dad's story will encourage everyone to put safety first this Father's Day weekend.
"We all make choices when we get behind the wheel, and those choices have consequences. Please keep those you care about safe: Don't use your cell phone while driving."
If you have a distracted driving experience you'd like to share, email email@example.com.