I have a lot of things I’m scared of. Snakes, spiders, snakes, heights, snakes, anything in a scary movie, snakes…well, you get the idea. However, the two all time scariest moments of my life actually took place while I was driving (and neither involved snakes). One, of course, is when I went off the road in a blizzard. Granted, I didn’t get scared until after being rescued, and I realized that I should have died. The all time scariest moment came in December of 2009.
It was noon on Saturday, December 5th, 2009, I was with my parents, and I was driving on West Center (a main road here in Omaha). Being the noon hour, traffic was heavy. We were sitting in a long line of traffic waiting for the light at 120th & W. Center to change. I remember looking up in my rear view mirror and seeing a car coming up behind me. I could tell that it wasn’t slowing down, and even though my foot was already on the brake (because we were stopped), I put as much pressure into holding the brake down as I could. Right before the car slammed into the back of my car, I saw that the driver was just chatting away on her cell phone, completely oblivious to the fact that she was about to cause an accident. The impact came, our car was pushed up into the car in front of us, and then unexpectedly the car behind us hit us a second time. It took a moment, but when no more impacts came, it was time to see what had happened.
Turns out, the woman who hit us wasn’t the only one on her phone not paying attention. There was another woman in the car behind the woman who rear ended us, and she too was on her cell phone. You read that right, both women were talking on their cell phones not paying a whit of attention to anything. Not only that, but it ended up being a paramedic who witnessed what happened who called 9-1-1. I didn’t have a phone at the time, and the gentleman who’s truck I got pushed into didn’t have one either. Neither of the two women who caused the accident bothered to ever use their phones to call 9-1-1.
Miraculously, no one was killed, or injured; which considering the fact that both women were going at least 45 mph when they hit is pretty amazing. (Although, the stress of the event triggered a nightmare medical situation with my mom over the next week, but that’s a story for another post.)
Ever since that nightmare day, I’ve been very anti using your cell phone to text or call while driving. That accident should never have happened. So, you can imagine the rage I felt yesterday when I got on Facebook, and saw one of my acquaintances had written that when a guy honked and shook his finger at her for texting and driving, she proceeded to flip him off and continue texting at the same time. And to make it really great, she hash-tagged it “multitasking.”
Cue Seth and Amy, it’s time for “Really?”. Really? REALLY??????
Last time I checked driving is not the time to be “multitasking.” A car is an incredibly dangerous weapon when used irresponsibly. And yes, I consider texting and driving to be just as irresponsible as talking on the cell phone and driving. If you don’t care about your own life, show respect and care for other people’s lives. People in the cars around you are human beings. Every single driver is someone’s daughter or son. Every single passenger is someone’s daughter or son. This isn’t “The Sims” where you can just recreate the character should Death come knocking. There is no pause button, and the game doesn’t reset just because someone died. Those other drivers don’t deserve to have their lives taken away or messed up badly because you don’t have the patience to wait until you’ve reached your destination to use your phone.
At the end of the day, life is too valuable to destroy so recklessly and irresponsibly.