Skid Marks

Brandon M

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Every driver’s seen them. Every state has seen them. Every man, woman, and child who’s been on the road has seen them at least once. They’re all over the place. Sometimes it’s at an intersection. Other times, they swerve off the road. Many times, they lead nowhere. But sometimes? Sometimes they’re fresh. The pungent odor of burnt rubber and singed asphalt is evident in the air, and it surrounds a horrid sight. Nearly 15% of all vehicular accidents are caused by some form of distraction, especially in young drivers. Be it your phone, a game, or friends, something takes your attention from the road. Maybe for even half a second, you space out while you talk about that gossip at school. Or that new video-game that you’ve all been playing. Maybe you wanted to check a quick text because ‘the road is clear, so why not?’ And then your world goes dark. You were fine just then! What happened? It turns out, driving a four-ton vehicle down the road going 60 miles an hour isn’t a good idea unless you keep your wits about you. You’ve wrapped your car around a tree. Was the text worth it? Did telling your friends about your new highscore give you what you wanted? What about when you’re not alone? When you want to talk to the love of your life, so you text them at the light. You’re engrossed in the conversation, and you know you have plenty of time. Right? Wrong. Someone honks at you impatiently. Panic sets in for a moment, and you hit the gas, because surely they’ve been waiting forever. The wheels spin and you look up. Boom. You’ve hit someone. Now what? Was the conversation worth it? A lot of people think it is. They think “I’m a responsible driver! I can handle my phone on the road, I swear!” They say it can’t happen to them. That they’re better than that. That they would never cause an accident. 14 thousand of them a year say that, and yet it always happens. Is your life worth so little? IS it worth the two seconds it takes to pull over and then respond? Do you really need to tell Shelly about how her boyfriend is cheating on her at the light? Stop it. Wait an extra second or two. Be patient. Put your phone deep in your pockets, or your purse, or anywhere you can’t get to it immediately. Don’t risk your life for some words on a screen. Don’t be a skid mark among thousands. Live.