Check yourself before you wreck yourself

Anna Gleason

Please put your seat backs up and make sure your tray tables are in their upright and locked position.

We’ve all heard that speech before; well, we have if we’ve been on an airplane. These are the guidelines the flight attendant tells the passengers before we take off to make sure we have a safe and comfortable flight, and all reach our destination in one piece.

I don’t think we should have such a speech for driving. I mean, more people die every year from car crashes than from plane crashes; plane crashes are just on the news more often.

I’ve been driving now for seven years. Not a lifetime or anything, but still, I have some experience under my belt. Every time I get in my car though, without fail, I see someone, somewhere, doing something incredibly stupid and unsafe.

Now I’m not saying I’m a perfect driver, by no means, but come on! Have you seen what some of the people on the road are doing out there? People seem to think they are impervious to harm if they are in their car. I hate to break it to all of you out there who believe this, but a car is just a giant piece of metal with some glass and rubber; it’s not a bomb shelter.

“Honey, it’s fine. I can paint my toenails, talk to Margie, put on my eyeliner and drive at the same time. It’s my morning ritual.”

You may laugh at the above statement, but I’ve seen people who have come pretty close to doing those things while driving.No wonder I have road rage! No one in their right mind knows how to drive anymore. What is the world coming to?

I’m not a cop, but just in the time it takes me to drive from school to home—let’s say 15 minutes—I can spot at least a dozen traffic violations. That’s almost one violation per minute, plus that’s an extremely small sample. Cutting people off, blatantly running red lights, not using your blinker, listening to your iPod with headphones, texting on your cell phone; the list just keeps going.

People wonder why there are so many fatal traffic accidents a year. Well you’re why; we’re all why. We drive around without paying attention to what is going on around us. Every time we get in our cars, we are setting ourselves up for disaster; we are usually too preoccupied with why Tommy broke up with us after three months, or why the cute girl in our psychology class didn’t text us back, to concentrate. I’m not directing this solely towards people in my age group. I’ve seen moms, dads, grandparents, you name it, doing things they shouldn’t be doing while driving. You know who you are.

So please, the next time you get in your car, take a minute and think about what you’re doing before you do it. Put away the Snicker’s bar and tell Susie you’ll call her when you get to wherever you’re going, because if you don’t, you might do something you can never take back.

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