Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tornadoes Aren't Just Storms

I am scared to drive. Everyone seems so distracted, I feel like driving has become a hazard. The other day I was sitting at a red light and I watched at least ten cars making a left hand turn. As they drove by, I noticed each driver was either talking on a cell phone or had one in their hands texting on it. Not long after that, I was sitting at a red light waiting patiently when all of a sudden I got bumped from behind. Luckily, it was just a little bump and no damage, but it scared me half to death. Who knows what the distracted lady was doing. And then, while coming home from the grocery store, I noticed a car behind me, tailing me closely. A quick glance out the rear view mirror revealed a young teenage girl driving with her cell phone on top of the steering wheel, texting as she traversed the roads. Visions of the wicked witch from the Wizard of Oz, pedaling on her bicycle flashed through my mind. And right then and there it hit me. I knew what my mind was trying to tell me. Driving while texting, talking on cell phones, or fidgeting with the radio is exactly like a tornado wreaking havoc through a town.
And like a tornado can destroy lives, a wreck can, too. Believe me, I know. I got the call nearly four years ago that changed my life forever. It was my husband yelling at me to come quick- there had been an accident. Wait a minute- hadn’t my husband and three children just left the classroom I was getting ready for vacation bible school? They had come to see the huge elephant Pete had drawn the previous evening for me.
I hurried out the door and drove to the sight, praying the whole way. I was unprepared for what I saw. A huge truck had rear-ended my husband’s small Saturn and it looked like an accordion in the grass. Fear took hold of me as I scanned the scene for my family.
I quickly found Pete holding our then two-year-old and trying to console him. I looked around and saw nobody lying on the ground, but I couldn’t find my other two children.
“They are in Ann’s house,” said my husband, as if he read my mind. Our friend had a house right by the accident and she had taken the older two inside.
“What happened? Do you know?” I asked, wondering how this accident could have occurred.
“Yes, I do know what happened. That teenager over there,” said my husband pointing, “was changing the radio station. He wasn’t paying attention…”

Come on people, let's stop this nonsense. Driving needs our undivided attention. I would like to add to the campaign that says "Don't drink and drive," and say "Don't text or talk, either." Be safe, please!


Julie said...

I hear ya there. We have been getting those storms all day today over in the Tampa, FL area and people are just as crazy on the road. What's worse is all of the elderly people who have a bad time driving in good conditions, let alone during storms.

Susan said...

It hasn't made me popular but when I get a call from someone and it is clear that they are driving and on a cell phone I politely ask them to hang up and call back later when they aren't behind the wheel. I can't control what other people do but I can control whether or not I participate in it.

The Voice said...

I totally agree with you. Now that I have moved to Houston the amount of people who drive as if they are the only ones on the road is a retroactive storm waiting to happen. I say this because people drive so close you can see the irritation in their eyes if you happen to stop at an orange light just before it turns red. I even read an article yesterday about a couple in Europe having relations on the highway while driving 20 miles over the speed.
I have definitely taken to praying for myself and others before I back out the drive.
Oh, and when there is someone driving waaaay to slow in front of me, I have decided God has put him/her there to slow me down and protect me from whatever is up ahead.

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

As a person that have seen her life flash before her eyes when someone crossed the lane and barreled head on towards me avoiding the crash by a split second.

Jeni said...

Very nice words of wisdom.... It is law in NY- HANDSFREE only please!