Yeah. It’s Not Friday…But I Don’t Care

I just watched this video, and it gave me chills.

Yes, it’s a little over 7 minutes, but I encourage everyone to watch it. And then think.

It only takes a split second to kill or cripple someone. To leave families grieving the loss of the victim killed because of a serious error in judgment. And there’s never a do-over once a tragedy happens, no matter how sorry you might be, there’s no taking it back.

I don’t care if the music on a radio station sucks. I don’t care if your kid is throwing a tantrum in the backseat. I don’t care if you had ‘one too many’ at the bar. I don’t care what’s happening off in the distance. And if you’re texting while driving…then I hope someone beats the snot out of you.

Nothing…NOTHING…is worth risking your life…or the life of someone else.

Take it from someone who knows. One guy, distracted on the highway, runs a red light and totals my van. Though it doesn’t impact my life in any significant way, I’ll never have the peripheral vision back in the top of my right eye. I’ll never be able to watch a 3D movie again (5 weeks of double vision proved that in a miserable way).

I may never ride my bike again. At least it doesn’t seem likely after nearly four years. With the injury to the nerve in my eye, and the mild TBI, I’m scared to even consider getting on another amusement park ride…which sucks, because I love them. And I still struggle with concentrating for long periods of time…which affects my novel writing (and might explain why I fell in love with blogging).

It took nine months of working my butt off in physical therapy to be able to walk like a normal human being again…and I have to do a series of stretches every day, and regular pool workouts, to maintain that. I accept that I need to do that if I don’t want to limp…and I don’t. But I shouldn’t have to.

All of this because a driver was distracted. He wasn’t paying attention at a crucial moment, and I’ll be paying for his careless decision for the rest of my life.

I realize it could have been worse. Much worse. I saw people while I was in PT. People who needed special crutches to walk. One woman who required those, and a wide belt around her waist (that someone else had to hold to keep her upright). People who lost their ability to walk.

And one guy named Nate. Nate is such a sweetie. I had assumed his accident was recent…but he’d been in a wheelchair for several years by the time I met him. He isn’t paralyzed, but he can’t walk. And he always wanted to talk to me…but I couldn’t understand a word he said, which made me feel bad. The only things I could figure out is when he wanted a hug, or to hold my hand.

I don’t know if he caused his accident, or if someone else did, but a handsome, personable young man has such a poor quality of life now that it just breaks my heart.

Natalie Harford‘s mother-in-law was killed by a driver who was under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (sorry , I can’t remember the specifics, Natalie). One of my uncles was killed when he fell asleep at the wheel of his semi truck nine years ago. Yes, driving while tired is extremely dangerous. A friend’s son was badly injured when a car pulled out in front of him a few months ago. He was on a motorcycle. It’s a miracle he wasn’t killed.

At some point in the last two years, a young man from our town, a man who served two tours in Afghanistan, made it safely home…only to be killed when a drunk driver pulled out in front of his motorcycle. This hero was on his way home from work.

People need to start using the brains they were born with. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it…vehicles make very effective weapons. If you can’t give 100% of your attention to driving, then don’t bother getting behind the wheel. We don’t want you on the road.

 

 

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20 Comments

Filed under Impaired Driving

20 responses to “Yeah. It’s Not Friday…But I Don’t Care

  1. I loved your commentary. In Sept. 2011, I read Kristin Hannah’s book “Night Road” if you haven’t read it, I recommend it. I found it very thought provoking.

    My Thoughts as I had posted them in my review of the book.

    As always I was not disappointed by Kristin Hannah’s book. She took a problem that faces so many teen-agers and their parents and wrote a very thought provoking story. It seems every Spring with the graduation parties taking place there are always some who get drunk and then drive. The consequences that families have to face are very devastating, to say the least.

    The story drives the point home of just how dangerous drinking and driving can be. It helps us understand how everyones life changes in an instant for the ones left behind. I think anyone who has ever raised teen-agers (and of course we were all teen-agers at one time) can relate to this story.

    It just seems that as teen-agers we couldn’t seem to realize that driving while drunk is a killer. I shed a few tears while reading this book, and it also brought back memories of my teen-age years. We weren’t completely innocent in the 50’s either.

    • I think ‘teenagers’ and ‘stupid’ go hand-in-hand…no way to avoid it. None of them (including me at the time) can learn from the mistakes of others. We have to make our own. It’s just too bad that alcohol is such a huge draw. I dread the news around prom time. We lost 3 older teens last summer in an accident involving alcohol. The driver survived-17 or 18 years old, and is now in prison. Sad stories.

      I may check the book out. It will have to wait until I’m in the right frame of mind though. That kind of stuff just really bothers me…to know how many people are killed, crippled and worse…all because they…or someone else…didn’t treat driving with the attention and respect it requires.

  2. Very disturbing video. We were hit broadside by a teenage girl who ran a red light. We were pretty sure she was on her cell phone. This was in the early 2000’s. Fortunately, none of us were hurt. Not sure about the girl. I was so mad I left that to the paramedics who were on scene immediately. I was transporting two children were not my own, at the time as well as my family. Very scary.

    I’m very sorry to hear about what happened to you and your vision issues. BTW, what is TBI?

    • On the cell phone, or texting on one. I’m sorry you, and the passengers in your car were victims of someone who shouldn’t have been issued a driver’s license. I’m glad everyone was all right though. Maybe the girl learned a lesson…but I can relate to how you handled it.

      My kids were in the van with me. Fortunately I’d been handing my daughter some money, so I hadn’t taken right off when my light turned green. That two second delay probably saved my life. He’d have hit my door instead of my fender. And I didn’t check on him either. I’m not sure I could have because when I tried to get out of the van, I staggered, and people who stopped made me get back in.

      My vision issues aren’t bad now. I never did watch too many 3D movies (it’s just having the choice taken away that bugs me). And the whole peripheral vision thing is pretty minor. It was close to a year before one test found it. For a few weeks after that, I felt a little claustrophobic in cars, but now I just use it to amuse myself when I’m bored. I’ll stand (or sit) under a ceiling light….just so I can see the edge of it, then close one eye/leave one open…and alternate it, so it’s a now I see it, now I don’t kind of thing (yes, I’m weird).

      Other than that, I figure the only problem I’d have because of it is if I was standing outside, with my left eye closed, and there was a plane or meteor hurtling toward me at one specific angle.

      TBI is ‘traumatic brain injury.’ In my case it was pretty mild. I wound up with some intermittent (?) memory loss (just small chunks here and there), headaches for a couple of years…and I swear I’ve developed ADD. I’m good to concentrate on something for 30-60 minutes, then I have to do something else because I get bored.

      • I’m sorry, and you are …???

        Woops, must have been my TBI for a second. hehehe
        I’m gonna use that as my excuse with MLB! I’ve been hit in the head so many times, it’s as good as any other excuse. πŸ™‚

        And I love your looking at the ceiling light thing. I would totally do that if I had the same vision issue. And ADD, I must not have been diagnosed – it was after my time – but I can’t stay on one task for more than maybe an hour before being distracted by just about anything.

        “Squirrel!” – see what I mean?

        • LOL! Today I’m Martha Washington, and I’m waiting for George to cut that stupid tree down so I can make a pie. πŸ™‚

          It CAN be a good excuse…but I can’t use it anymore. Now the main reason I forget things is because of the usual airhead reasons I had before (too much going on inside my head).

          Yeah, the eye game is kind of fun. As long as I don’t play it in a car…it makes the space seem smaller. πŸ™‚

          I haven’t been diagnosed with ADD, I just feel like it could be. Although I’d rather it would be ADHD…I could get a LOT more done that way.

          Squirrel…too funny! Zebra! πŸ™‚

  3. I couldn’t watch the video b/c of my sucky internet connection, but I was touched my your message. I see people doing crazy things in cars every day. I was rear-ended twice in a six month period. Both times I was sitting still – once in traffic and once at a light. The people who crashed into me just weren’t paying attention. I had to have back surgery and still suffer from back pains at times.

    You lost things you didn’t deserve to lose and the ability to do things you love because of someone else’s inattention. I’m sorry you’ve had to experience that, but glad it wasn’t worse.

    Great message. Kristy!

    • Thanks, Rhonda!

      You might be glad you couldn’t watch the video. You could tell that some of the accidents were real…filmed from traffic cams. The rest I suspect were reenactments. It made me so sad and angry to watch these things, and to know they were ALL caused by careless, distracted (or intoxicated) drivers.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your accidents and surgery. I was only rear-ended once, but I was in a residential zone and doing 25. Not sure how fast the woman who hit me was going, but it wasn’t bad, just dented my license plate (with something on the front of her truck). I will say I’m glad I chose to NOT wear my big hair clip that day. It was August and I’d seriously considered twisting my hair up. Had I done that, I’d have regretted it. The thought of a dozen claw-like things embedded in the back of my head makes me cringe. πŸ™‚

      Now…I’m going to nag share something with you that I learned in PT. You’d have to run it by your doctor, but it was after I learned this that I was able to start walking normally again (as opposed to looking like I was 167 years old). It took awhile, and other PT exercises, but this helped a whole lot.

      Since I don’t know where your back hurts, I’ll tell you what I do. My lower back and hips were the worst, so the therapists would ‘stretch’ my legs. I would lay on my back, leaving one leg straight on the table while they raised the other one until I felt a pull…then they’d hold it there for 20 seconds to 2 minutes (any less and it doesn’t help, any longer and it can actually cause problems).

      Now I can do that myself, using the steps in the deep end of the pool. I also use that technique when I sit too long at the keyboard and my upper back starts aching. Hunch forward, hold for a minute…then stretch each arm across my body (one at a time), and hold. It really helps.

      Okay…I’ll stop now. πŸ™‚

      But I’m with you…I’m glad mine wasn’t worse. I try to focus on that. Maybe I can’t ride my bike again, but I’m getting around on my own two feet quite nicely. And maybe I can’t watch a 3-D movie again…BUT I can still drool over Robert Downey Jr. movies. πŸ™‚

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  5. prudencemacleod

    Dear gods, that vid gave me shivers. Every human with a driver’s licence should have to watch that at least once a week. I learned to drive back in the 1960’s from a defensive driving instructor who also raced cars. I can’t begin to tell you how many close calls I’ve had over the years; most due to the inattention or just plain stupidity of other drivers, but too many due to my own inattention. That vid was a good wake up call. Thanks for sharing.

    • It’s a good wake up call for everyone, Prudence. I agree with you…everyone should have to watch this, or one like it, on a very regular basis. There are just so many distractions. I’m constantly on my daughter because she flips through the radio stations in the van like a guy flips through television channels with the remote. She gets sick of my nagging, but I don’t care. She’s going to learn to drive safe if she ever wants me to pay for her license and insurance.

      I think people have forgotten what a privilege and responsibility driving is. Thanks for stopping by…glad to know there are other safe drivers out there. Now if we could ship all those who won’t drive safe to some remote island… πŸ™‚

  6. …and I’ll be paying for his careless decision for the rest of my life…

    So true! Powerful video but even more powerful post Kristy! People need to start taking the privilege of driving seriously and do so with care and caution. No one would like it if we crashed their family reunion with a loaded weapon playing Russian Roulette. But driving distracted, tired and/or drunk is exactly that!

    Thank you for the shout out (and yes, he was drunk and stoned) and for keeping this message with your own powerful story/reminder going forward. Here’s to your continued recovery….blessings!

    • I will take every possible opportunity to draw attention to what happened to your mother-in-law and step-son. And I will continue to share what happened to me (and those I’ve met and known)…because people need to know that it just takes one stupid decision and they’ll regret it for the rest of their lives-if they live through it.

      LOL…I just have to be careful. This is actually my second post from that night. I had to delete the first (that one was my Incredible Hulk post-this is the David Banner…censored…perspective). I try not to watch videos like this very often, but this one bothered me more than most. πŸ™‚

      And thank you. Things will continue to improve for me…because I won’t have it any other way. LOL…one of these days I’m going to pay a visit to the doctor who suggested I give up and start using a wheelchair. So, SO glad I ignored her. πŸ™‚

  7. Wow, Kristy. What an intense video. I am so sorry for what happened to you. After all the times we have talked, I hope you know that. I have not only been witness to such accidents several times, but have lost a few friends to such tragic events – including two of my own sisters. I’ve kown people that have been trapped in comas for weeks, or even months as a result. Every time we get behind the wheel of a car or on a motorcycle it would do us good to remember what a weapon we control.

    • I absolutely know that, Debra…and thank you. I’m very sorry about what happened to your family. I knew about Kristi, but I guess I hadn’t heard about your other sister. I can’t even imagine how hard that had to have been for all of you. So many hurt and lost who shouldn’t have been…all because people forget that they’re driving a vehicle that can kill or maim in the blink of an eye. 😦

  8. I could only watch a minute of the video – too real for me. My sister was killed in a car accident many years ago. My mother never recovered. and our family will always have a hole. I endeavor to always be conscious and attentive behind the wheel. someone’s life may depend on it. thx Kristy

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