A 26-year-old female clipped the rear left bumper of my friend’s car as she drove my three-year-old to dance class. The driver’s excuse – “I was bending down to get some napkins.” She didn’t notice my friend slowing down to make a right-hand turn, and when she looked up, she hit my friend’s car as she tried to swerve and miss her. Thankfully, my daughter was in a car seat on the right hand side and no one was hurt. The impact was low and my daughter related the experience to hitting a bump in the road. The police officer who came to the scene says he sees this type of accident all of the time. The reason for it — texting. He checked for the so-called napkins she was reaching for, and surprise – there were none. She later fessed up and admitted she was texting.
Along with my husband who came to the scene to make sure everything was okay, the girl’s father came to the scene as well. I can only imagine what her father thought as he saw my adorable three-year-old as part of an accident his daughter caused. And all because she was texting. What did he say to her? Of course he’d say all of the fatherly things making sure she was okay, but then what would he say?
What the hell were you thinking?
I’ve told you a thousand times not to text and drive.
There was a child in that car. You’re lucky it was a fender bender and nothing more.
Have you learned your lesson now?
Those are just a few things I imagine I’d say if it were my kid behind the wheel. I’m sure this father has told her a thousand times not to text and drive, but as with many things we tell our kids, until they experience the consequences, they don’t learn. She texted while driving — and my daughter — and my friend, had no choice but to be part of this young woman’s life lesson. It makes me angry my three-year-old was part of someone else’s life lesson. But if I play it out and wonder why, one thing I come up with is maybe, just maybe, another person’s life will be saved. Another parent’s child will be saved because this young lady has learned her lesson and will not text while driving again…hopefully. It’s only a good lesson if this driver actually learns it. Let’s hope she does because if there is a next time, she may not be so lucky.
This lesson isn’t just for her. It’s for all of us who get distracted while driving – me included. Did you know the month of April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month? They actually have a month dedicated to teaching drivers not to be distracted behind the wheel. Whether it’s texting, answering a phone call, bending down to get something in the car, there are many ways to be a distracted driver. If you need a refresher course, or need tools to teach your own kids about the risks of distracted driving, visit the National Safety Council website or the Distraction.Gov website for great resources.
A lesson is only as good as the person who learns from it. Drive safe.