This Is Worth Repeating

Photo Credit: Morguefile

Photo Credit: Morguefile

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This was originally posted on July 23, 2012, and decided to put it up again. I’ve been seeing so many crazy things on the road lately that it just really scares me the way people drive.

I really hope you’ll take seven minutes to watch the video. And I mean really watch it. Note how fast these tragedies happen. In the blink of an eye…literally…someone’s life can be ended, or changed forever.

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

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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 (6 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 that 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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