As a fan of a couple of bands that have inspired me to drive as far as possible, whenever possible, to see them, I'm no stranger to road trips of every variety. Countless hours in the car have provided me with great memories and cemented many a friendship. During my freshman year of college in Virginia, my good friend Pierce and his older brother, Cullum, were driving back to school after Thanksgiving break when they were struck on Highway 81 by a tractor trailer that plowed into standstill traffic with its cruise control at 70 miles per hour. Pierce survived the crash but Cullum, who was driving, did not.
Cullum's family has become extremely proactive in making the highways of America safer by urging Congress to consider speed governors on trucks, regular health screenings for truckers, and more. After gaining support from many lawmakers and the trucking industry, they're trying to gain the attention of Congress and President Obama for their nonprofit organization, Road Safe America Dedicated to making our car rides safer by reducing the number of crashes experienced by cars and heavy trucks, Road Safe America is sponsoring a petition for safer highways. And since virtually no one in the HeadCount community is a stranger to long setlist-dissecting car rides, you may well want to sign it and send the information to anyone you have ever shared a car ride with. Cullum was an amazing friend to many and an exemplar of the principles our alma mater – Washington and Lee in Lexington, VA – aims to instill in its students: honor and civility.