Motivational Speaker Delivers Powerful Message About Reckless Driving

Cara Filler cautions students to make smart decisions when driving


Jayce Haun

Cara Filler presents to juniors and seniors in the Liberty Performing Arts Center, to promote safe driving habits.

Elizabeth Hamby , Co Editor-In-Chief of the Ledger

Cara Filler spoke of how much she hated the ’90s with her being a very tall girl, with a very close twin, both styled with a perm and a mullet at the same time. The ’90s became even worse for Filler when that twin Mairin became a “statistic on a piece of paper” when she died in a reckless car crash in a car driven by her new boyfriend.

Filler is a motivational speaker who travels the world and has been circulating Missouri for the past month. Liberty was her eighth school in the state and she delivered her message to juniors and seniors in the Liberty Performing Arts Center on Thursday, March 31.

Filler now stands before us, 27 years later following the crash, and explains to students about better choices they should make, and encourages them to speak up for the you that you are.

Doubtlessly, prior to the ever-talked-about presentation, there were many voices in the hallway coming from the wandering pessimists. “Why are we even doing this?” “This won’t even work!” “This isn’t going to change anything.”

And they were right about one thing, this isn’t going to change anything. It’s not going to change anything if you don’t listen to the stories of people like Filler that can tell you first-hand what an impact dangerous driving has had in her life. Students were impressed with Filler and how she was an amazing speaker. She is incredibly funny, and honest and she puts her heart out for the high school students she presents to.

She spoke to us like adults and was truthful. It was a very informative and engaging presentation that I wish more people could hear.”

— Bella Bahr

Brynn Bartram, a senior in attendance at the event, speaks on how much Filler reminded her of herself.

“Maybe it was just the tall girl aspect, I understood everything she said because I hear it every day,” Bartram said.

She commented on how she certainly did not expect the presentation to be the way it was and it was incredible the way she turned her grieving into a way to help other people.

“She made the presentation as fun as she could of, and I honestly can’t imagine what she does, reliving that moment all the time,” Bartram said

Filler’s story was impeccable and moving for the many other juniors and seniors that attended the assembly, and she had multitudes of kids lining up to get one of her impeccable “mom hugs” and share their stories just like hers.

Although a mom, she was adamant about not acting like ours — she didn’t want to tell us how to live our lives, but to try and implement plenty of safer choices than her sister Mairin took.

It was the day after the twin’s 18th birthday, they were at the mall three blocks from their house. Mairin had her boyfriend pick her up at the mall in his spiffy sports car to drive her back to their house.

“Except they never made it to the house,” Filler recalled.

Filler was in the car behind the crash and she showed the students a commercial, while the student’s eyes were closed, word-for-word with what she said after her sister’s crash, begging for her sister to come back, pleading for that moment back when she hadn’t lost that one half of herself.

Filler says that her sister never amounted to anything after high school except becoming a statistic like so many others do. Mairin’s boyfriend was driving 100 mph in a 30 posted zone when he crashed, thus bending the car at a 90-degree angle where her sister was sitting.

“Three blocks is all it took, traveling in an excess of 100 mph,” Filler said.

Now, Filler travels around the world telling her story to more than two million people across five countries. One of the resources she shared with us passionately including her infamous Three P’s to get out of dangerous situations, was providing 4 options for students to ponder instead.

Option 1: Avoid being a part of that dangerous risk, that could inevitably end in these catastrophic situations.

Option 2: Just get out of the car. (She stressed to always make sure that the car was not in motion but nonetheless). With that, also stick your neck out for your friends. Make sure you make the decisions for them that Filler couldn’t make for her sister, because it could happen to you no matter how much you think it couldn’t.

Option 3 (The Three P’s): Present the driver you want to get away from with three “emergency” situations that include: Pee (She says sell this! Make a potty dance for an even more believable performance), Puke, act like you are so nauseated you can’t bear keeping it in even longer (avoid laughing of course) and last, but not least for all the ladies out there who know men who drive recklessly. The number one thing that guys are scared of is Periods, so hit them with an “Oh no, I started my period, I have no supplies, and I’m free bleeding in your passenger seat!” And there you are, bound for escape!

Last but not least Option 4: Pick up the phone, call your parents. Get them involved, as much as you don’t want to, you could save a life.

After this booking with Cara got canceled two years prior due to COVID-19, Liberty was proud to host her and her amazing public speaking abilities.

Senior Bella Bahr, a member of Student Council, says StuCo heard her speak in 2019 at a convention, and that year they knew she needed to speak at Liberty too.

“It was so interesting to hear her story. Talking to her before the presentation, she was so cool and I had no idea how much her story played into why she speaks to students today,” Bahr said.

Bahr was blown away by her statistics and speaking skills and explains that her expectations were blown out of the water.

“She spoke to us like adults and was truthful. It was a very informative and engaging presentation that I wish more people could hear,” said Bahr.

Filler knows her presentations may not be taken seriously by everyone in attendance, may not save as many lives as she would like, but nonetheless, her story will never be forgotten by the juniors and seniors in attendance.

“I hope this presentation wasn’t as boring as y’all thought. Remember what your options are. Take care of yourselves,” Filler closed with.

More About Cara:

Cara Filler meets with students following her talk about the dangers of reckless driving. (Jayce Haun)

Cara Filler has been public speaking for 27 years now and is a mom to her amazing son Jackson that is just as tall as her and her husband. She lives in Vancouver, growing up in Canada. She was a twin to her wonderful older, bossy, outspoken, confident, and full-hearted sister Mairin who died in the worst event to happen to Cara. Originally she wanted to pursue marine biology but realized she had a calling to change what she couldn’t, the way the world could make safe decisions about driving. She speaks about “embracing your inner Beyonce” and speaking out and “making your voice heard.”

Learn more about her on her website or contact her at email [email protected] or Instagram @carafiller.