Better drivers lead to safer roads

Letter to the Editor

Last updated on Aug 30, 23

Posted on Aug 30, 23

2 min read

To the Editor,

I would’ve thought because of the pandemic we would have learned compassion and patience, realized that even if things had slowed down, we still accomplished our tasks. I would’ve thought we would have realized how precious life is and how important people are.

Instead, it seems like we are in a rush to catch up on everything we may have missed in those two years. We’ve become disconnected from our fellow human beings, and with that disconnection comes complete disregard.

It seems lately, that we’re all in a big hurry. A hurry to get to the grocery store. In a hurry to get to work or in a hurry to get “God knows where.” In that rush, have we become completely oblivious to others around us, especially on the roads. Have we become that disconnected that we don’t care for the wellbeing of others around us when we’re driving?

I’ve lost count on how many times in a week I’ve seen people run through red lights, disregard stop signs, pass cars on solid lines or tailgate so closely that they hit the dirt to avoid hitting the car in front of them. Some drive on the gravel to get ahead of other cars because, for them, things aren’t moving fast enough.

Just this morning I watched a small car ride the bumper of the car in front of him, then sail through a red light and almost broadside another car turning left. Why? Did that person think that the place he was going was so important that he was willing to kill someone?

The fines that were implemented to discourage the use of cell phones while driving must be a joke to many because often you can see the downward head motion of someone looking at a cell phone they have in their lap. Some are brazen enough to not hide the phone at all. A year ago, I was rear-ended by a young man that got out of his car holding his cell phone, and he thought I was dumb enough to believe his story that he had sneezed and that’s why he hit my car.

It’s heartbreaking to read the newspaper or watch the news and hear about the numerous, senseless deaths due to careless and distracted driving, deaths that could very easily be avoided if people would use their heads when they get behind the wheel.

How many more people are going to die? How many more kids are going to be left without a parent, a spouse without a partner because we don’t want to slow down or obey street signs?

Think of how you would feel if your mom, dad, sister or friend died because someone ran a red light because they had to get to the grocery store before it closed for a loaf of bread or they were distracted by a text that was too important to ignore.

When my kids started driving, the first thing I said to them was this: If you are running late, you’re late. It doesn’t matter if you’re five minutes late or 15 minutes late. Late is late. So why speed? Why take the chance of killing yourself or someone else on the road to make up a couple of minutes?

So, let’s start treating our fellow drivers like they’re a loved one: slow down and put the phone down. Late is late, and that important text will still be there when you reach your destination.

Leah Miller

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