When I get in my car every day I deal with a slight level of anxiety. I often think that while I follow every driving-rule I have ever learned, to the point where it’s midnight and I won’t cross a solid white line, there is someone out there not following rules. I know there are people out there that believe the rules of the road are suggestions and speed limits are made to be broken. There are tons of people all over the road that think their car is less than what it is. A vehicle is a weapon when it comes down to it. It is heavy, it has wheels and it is controlled by a creature that thinks it can multi-task. I cannot tell you how many times I look into the car next to me and see someone either talking on their phone or texting. How is texting and driving still an issue at this point? Have we not learned our lessons from the commercials?
It can be easy to get into a routine. You get up, get ready and then hop into your car to deal with the morning or evening traffic. I have occasionally fallen victim to it myself; going into a trance-like state on the obnoxious drive home from school on the 51 north. However, I never zone out to the point that I don’t see my surroundings or the fact that traffic is at a complete stop ahead of me. Like most sane people, when I saw a line of stopped traffic ahead of me, I stopped and waited for a good 30 seconds, despite my hurry to get home and feed my rehabilitating pet bird. However, the TRUCK behind me did not have the good sense to do the same. Not only did he crash into my completely stopped car, he did so at what I’m guessing was a 45mph speed without an attempt to stop. Thank goodness my car had sturdy enough breaks to stop me from flying into traffic.
Do I know if he was on his phone or texting? Not for sure, but I do know he had plenty of time to stop before reaching my vehicle. I literally watched him get closer and closer with no speed reduction. Regardless of the cause, he was negligent and now someone else has to pay for his mistake. Namely me, but at least it gave me a good topic to write about.
Driving a car is a privilege and far too many people forget that. It is seen as a rite-of-passage when a teen turns 16 to get their license and start driving. Then as that teen grows into adulthood, unless they make the decision to truly learn the rules or follow them, things just get worse. Being complacent when driving is dangerous. Being distracted when driving is even worse… sometimes you might not see the car stopped in front of you. And rather than looking at this as a rant from someone who lost their car and has an entire summer of physical therapy think of, think of it as a cautionary tale. I got lucky that the only thing truly destroyed was my car and I was only left with a sore back. However, the man that was behind me in his truck has a lot more to worry about than whatever distracted him in the first place.
Not only does he have to pay for his damages, but his insurance has to shell out money for my new vehicle, my physical therapy and all of my doctor’s appointments. Trust me, there are a lot of doctor’s appointments. Not to mention the fact that his insurance rate will skyrocket. What people really need to remember is that an accident can happen to anyone if they’re not paying attention to the road. Your phone is not that important, the kids fighting in the back seat can wait, the accident you just drove by is not that interesting and you can find that fascinating billboard online when you are out of your vehicle. We all need to treat driving as the dangerous necessity that it is and work together to make the road safer.