The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Don’t be dumb-drive safe

By Shelly Williams/editor-in-chief

Three weeks have passed, and I can’t prevent my back from tensing every time I look into the mirror and a car is following too close.

Three weeks have passed, and I can’t get the image of the young man’s deer-in-the-headlights look out of my head.

Three weeks have passed, and I can’t erase the damage done to my now-totaled car — all $7,400 worth, and that’s not including the damages from under the hood and underneath the car itself.

The claims man didn’t survey that far. Damages were already worse than the 3-year-old car’s total worth.

The young man who hit my car wasn’t paying attention. He looked up from his dash as I braced myself for the impact that would push my car several feet into the car in front.

Traffic was already at a standstill, and because someone chose to not pay attention, my car was now sandwiched.

A study done by the University of North Texas, published in the American Journal of Public Health last month, said distracted drivers have increased 28 percent after 2005, rising from 4,572 fatalities in the U.S. to 5,870 in 2008.

The study also said most of the data gathered was measured based on cell phone use and texting while driving. 

Three weeks may seem like a long time to get over it, but it was my first multiple car accident, and I had moderate whiplash and a strained knee for more than a week after.

This resulted in not driving for several days, missing a few days of work from both of my jobs or going home early, visiting the doctor, taking pain medicine and muscle relaxers and beginning a search for a new car to replace the one I almost had paid off.

I can’t prove that the person who hit me was texting, but I do know I saw him look up from his dashboard before his car struck mine. This accident could have been much worse. I’m thankful it wasn’t. But it also could have been prevented.

People: Keep your eyes on the road in front of you — if not for the safety of others, then to protect yourself from the consequences such as hassles, injury or even death.

Now to reiterate something my high school principal said over the announcements every day for four years:

“Make wise choices.”

It’s that simple.

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