Cars Make Pretty Effective Weapons

The second I saw the headline I knew I should avoid the article like the plague.  But no, I’m not smart enough to do something that easy.  Nope.  When my eyes zeroed in on, “Driver Sent, or Got, 11 Texts in 11 Minutes Before Crash,” you just have to know I’m going to click on the link and read it.

Yes.  This is a pet peeve of mine, and if you think it’s okay to text and drive, you might want to head to another blog right now.  Because I think texting and driving is a dangerous, irresponsible and selfish thing to do.

I’ve been involved in two accidents in the past six or eight years.  The first time a woman rear ended me.  Fortunately it was in a residential area and I was only going twenty-five.   She couldn’t have been going much faster because there was no damage to our vehicles, except something on the front of her truck really dented my license plate.

Now the second accident…that’s an entirely different story.  This guy blew through a red light on a highway, hitting me at about sixty mph, totaling my van.  I’ll be paying for that for the rest of my life.  The Stranger In My Head is my story, written at the suggestion of one of my doctors.  He thought it might help others in similar circumstances.

I’m well aware that things could have been much worse for me.  As long as I workout in a pool, and do a  specific set of stretches several times a week, most people wouldn’t know there was anything wrong with me.  But if I get too busy, or slack off, even for a couple of weeks, it’s not hard to see that I’m in a great deal of pain.  And that pain is caused from injuries sustained by being broadsided at a high rate of speed.

The funny thing about those accidents is that both of them occurred the middle of the afternoon, on clear days with dry road conditions.  Nothing around around to obstruct or impair the drivers’ vision.  No one proved anything one way or another, but the only real way to miss a car or van or red light is if you’re looking at something you shouldn’t be.  Like maybe a cell phone screen.

This video is obviously staged but I believe it shows very realistically what texting and driving can do.  The next video IS about actual events.  I hope you’ll take 11 minutes to watch it.

In the article I cited in the first paragraph, a 15 year old girl, as well as the driver of the truck…the driver who was more interested in texting than the thousand pound missile he should have been in control of….both died.  More were injured.  Most of them band members heading to an amusement park for the day.  Because of that 11th text message, they never made it.

Vehicles weren’t created to be weapons.  The second people decide to text and drive, though, that’s exactly what they become.  It’s bad enough that they’re willing to risk their own lives for such a stupid pastime.  But it’s just criminal when they put the lives of everyone else on the road in danger because of their selfishness.

Please take a few minutes to watch this.  And then if you’re someone who thinks it’s okay to text and drive…stop it.  If you’re not, share this video with everyone you can.  No one has the right to rob someone else of their life, or quality of life.  Neither do they have the right to deprive their loved ones of their company because they died over an LOL.

What about you?  Do you text and drive?  If not, what do you think about the practice?  Is it illegal in your state?

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Cars Make Pretty Effective Weapons

  1. I live in Ontario, Canada, and texting while driving is illegal here. We’re completely hands free (though some people choose to ignore the law). And I’m with you on this one. Texting while driving is selfish and irresponsible.

    • I wish it was illegal in all states here. With penalties the same as they would be for driving while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs. Hands-free would be great. But you’re right, some people will ignore the law. And even common sense. A guy flew by me on the freeway once (I was doing the speed limit-70-and he left me in the dust). I happened to glance over to see that he had a cell phone between his ear and shoulder, and was holding papers across his steering wheel. I was very glad to be almost at my exit. Scary stuff goes on out there.

  2. Janette Burzan

    Agree…no text is worth losing a life. Thank you Kristy for sharing this; hope many will read and watch; and that everyone will STOP texting and driving!

    • I hope so, too, Janette. I don’t hold out much hope that it will happen, but I sure wish it would. People tend to think they’re invincible, that while these things happen to other people, they will never happen to them because they ‘know how to be careful.’ I wish all cell phones had some disabling feature for texting if the phone is in motion over 1 mph.

  3. It’s completely illegal here in Cali. I’ve read about too much loss over this. It’s horrible that so many are so thick skulled that they keep doing it. Maybe you should make a page and dedicate it as your cause? Just a thought.

    • Oh, they finally made it illegal here last year, but I don’t think it helps much. The penalties are too lenient, and even though it should be considered reckless driving, they get no points on their license. The saddest thing is that nearly two dozen of our legislators thought it was infringing on personal liberties to ban it. Really? What about the rights of everyone else to drive on roads where ALL DRIVERS have to keep their eyes on the road, not on their phones?

      LOL…I should make a page but I won’t. Pretty sure I crossed the ‘controversial’ line Kristen warned us against when I posted this today. This is a subject I get pretty hot under the collar about because of my car accident. If I hadn’t been hadn’t turned to say something to my daughter when my light turned green, I’d have probably been killed. Just that second or two saved my life because he’d have hit my door instead of the fender. So I know what it’s like to be the victim of a distracted driver (he admitted to the police that he hadn’t been paying attention).

      As you can see it still gets to me, so I’m thinking it might not be the best way to make friends. 🙂

  4. I also live in California, and yet I still see people breaking the hands-free law all the time — pretty terrifying, given the fact that people drive like maniacs even when they’re not on the phone.

    And echoing Debra, you might want to think about making a page. Natalie Hartford writes frequently about impaired driving (her mother-in-law died after being hit by a drunk driver). You can see her posts here: http://nataliehartford.com/impaired-driving-our-story/

  5. Unfortunately, Lena, people will always break laws. It’s just more prevalent now than it’s ever been. I don’t know if it’s that the ‘me’ generation seems to have spread to all of the others or what, but too many people have stopped respecting laws. Or anyone other than themselves, for that matter. And until the lawmakers start imposing real punishment on those who break the hands-free/distracted/impaired driving laws, it’s always going to be a problem.

    Not only should these RECKLESS drivers get points on their driver’s licenses, they should lose their phone every time they’re caught, pay BIG fines, increasing dramatically each time, AND have to face losing their license, vehicle and freedom (jail time!) for more than three times. Harsh I know, but some people need incentives like that to do the right thing…because they’re incapable of doing the right thing just because it’s the right thing (no, I did NOT get enough sleep again).

    And this is why it would be a bad idea for me to follow in Natalie’s footsteps (and I do love her blog, by the way). It’s too easy for me to cross the line of being passionate about a cause to being fanatical. So it’s a subject best left to cooler heads. 🙂

  6. I feel your pain Kristy! I’ve written about driving distracted on my blog as well given that it’s tantamount to driving drunk. The stats show that when a person is driving while texting, they are 27 times more likely to cause an accident. Not cool. http://nataliehartford.com/2011/06/06/new-brunswick-imposes-tougher-driving-distracted-laws/ . People seem to have lost a healthy respect for what driving means – that vehicles can easily and quickly become a weapon killing INNOCENT people who are out obeying the laws and trying to drive defensively! It’s a shame.
    Talking about being fanatical, have you read some of my rants?! LOL! And you should see the unlady like gestures and facial expressions I give people when I see them driving while on the phone etc. MORONS!
    Love that you brought awareness to this issue…more people need to learn!

  7. I have read a number of your posts, and I’m glad it’s a cause you’ve taken up. I don’t think you’re fanatical at all…you may have saved some lives by sharing your story.
    I will probably touch on this subject again in the future because I honestly believe that both people who hit me were either on cell phones or texting. Consequently I get pretty hot about the subject.

    Maybe those of us who agree should plan on a blog hop and everyone write about this subject. Hit it hard and make it as widespread as possible to raise awareness…

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