Just Drive

April 29, 2009

I was that teenager that thought they were the very best driver on the road. I was convinced I knew how to handle every situation and I never listened when people criticized my driving skills or techniques. I KNEW I knew better than they did. I firmly believed if it was worth going somewhere, it was worth going fast. I was constantly pushing the speed limits to at least double, and I figured there was no reason why I couldn’t send text messages while doing so. I was an accident waiting to happen, and everyone knew it but me. Fortunately, when I finally had my epiphany that I was not an invincible teenage driver, I was alone, both in my car and on the road. On a gorgeous early November morning, I was the only car on this particular stretch of the Mass Pike. I lost control of my vehicle, and rolled my car down into the median that separated the East and West sides of the turnpike. My car rolled door over door 6 times before coming to rest (by some mysterious phenomenon) on its wheels at the base of the steep median. Miraculously, I suffered only minor injuries and help came to my rescue almost immediately.
Although my car was completely totaled, I can honestly say that some good has come from this experience. Since that day, my outlook on things has entirely changed. I no longer take driving as lightly as I always did. I have become far more cautious with my life and the lives of those around me, both on and off the road. In the hours that I lay in my hospital bed at Bay State Medical Center, I had time to reflect on how lucky I truly was. I couldn’t believe how stupid I had always been.
It took me five months to overcome my fear of being in control of a vehicle. After my accident, I refused to drive and I elected to walk over even being a passenger nine times out of ten. It was only at the beginning of this month that I began to drive again, and I have noticed that the roads are a much more dangerous place than I ever realized before. There are too many drivers out there that drive the way I used to, and there are many that have even worse habits. People, I’m begging you…learn from me! You are not as good as a driver as you think you are! You are NOT invincible and don’t say it can’t happen to you, because it can. Put down your doughnuts, turn off your cell phones, lower the volume on your radio. You may think you can multitask, but is it really worth finding out if your right? Honestly people, not everyone can be as lucky as I was.

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