I think I saw my life pass before my eyes the other afternoon as I drove home. Less than a mile from the house, I met a vehicle straddling the yellow line.
I expected the driver to swerve back on his or her side of the road; instead, the van veered even further in my direction.
Just as things were about to get ugly, the other driver must have decided to take a look at the road. We narrowly avoided a head-on collision.
For a few brief seconds I felt weak with relief–then I felt mad. I punched the horn on my steering wheel—which didn’t work, of course. I really wanted to yell some “unpleasantries” at that driver.
All of us have been guilty of distracted driving at one time or the other, myself included.
A child cries from the back seat, or siblings pick at each other, and a parent turns to see what’s going on. The next thing he or she knows, they’re about to run out of the road. Even reaching for a French fry can be distracting.
Lately, though, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend. It seems like at least once or twice a week, I’m meeting someone on our country road who is driving right in the middle of it.
I know we have a drug problem in this county, and some drunk drivers too, but I suspect that cell-phone use might be the reason for much of the distracted driving I see.
Those who are driving impaired tend to weave and drive erratically. Then there are those who just come right at you.
I have no idea what the person who almost hit me was doing. Perhaps they were swatting at a bee or something, for all I know.
Texting while driving has got to be one of the stupidest behaviors known to humankind. I’m sorry if that offends anyone, but it’s the truth.
It’s a good thing I’m a terrible texter, or I’d probably be guilty of trying it myself. We all do stupid things.
I recently read an amazing story about a 21 year-old who texted, “I need to quit texting because I could die in a car accident,” then he drove off a bridge into a ravine.
His neck was broken, his skull fractured and he ended up with serious brain injuries. He spent six months in the hospital, and now feels that his life was spared so he could warn people not to text and drive.
Texting is not only risky, but it is against the law in Kentucky. That includes writing, sending or reading any kind of text on a cell phone or any other personal communication device.
Kentucky’s texting law is a primary law, which means that an officer needs no other reason for pulling a person over except that he or she saw someone texting.
Kentucky is one of only 11 states where cell phone use is still legal while driving.
Public awareness campaigns can be pretty effective in changing people’s minds and behaviors. Take the push for seat belt laws, for example.
I began to wear my seat belt faithfully when I read that a sudden stop at five miles an hour can create enough impact to implant a radio knob into an eye socket.
Bizarre, I know, but sometimes it takes that to be effective.
Consider this my public safety message of the day. Please pay attention when you’re driving, and I’ll try to do the same.