Distracted Driving is Deadly

Maegan C

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The thrill of riding down the winding mountain roads, wind through your hair, sunlight warming your skin, sends adrenaline rushing through you. A wide smile plays across your face as you take a turn in the convertible. Solitary mountain drives were the way to spend the weekend. Free from people pressuring you for things, free from restrictions and regulations, just freedom. The speedometer creeps up ever so slightly as you rev the engine up a notch when you pass an increased speed limit sign. Adjusting your sunglasses, you glance casually in your rearview mirror. Not a single car in sight. You pick up your phone to text back a friend as you wind down the mountain road, coming to the intersection of another winding road from the other direction. You look briefly at the sluggishly pulsing yellow light and down both sides of the intersecting road. No cars or trucks were approaching. As you hurtle through the intersection, gaze distracted by the screen in your hand, a sudden muffled cry and the horrific sound of shredding metal crunches against your ears. Something heavy thuds against your windshield and the glass splinters instantly, shards spraying everywhere. Your car careens and the airbags explode, gray smoke flying into the air. Slamming on the brakes, you can smell the burn of rubber as the tires lock up and resist the forward friction momentum. A few moments after the shock wears off and you’re in control of your facilities again, you look around to see what caused the accident. Off to the side of the intersection lay a crumpled, twisted heap of metal. You squint through the foggy haze the airbags induced. Climbing painfully out of your car, you limp your way slowly towards the other object. Your blood runs cold when you realize it’s a motorcycle. The biker is a huddled form, still and unmoving in a trail of red and glistening glass. Grabbing your now shattered phone, you quickly attempt to dial the emergency number and kneel down next to him. Your heart thuds in your chest, feeling as though it’ll break straight through your ribs. Time blurs as you stare down at him, already knowing from the sense of dread making you nauseous that he wasn’t alive anymore. Your hands are cold and clammy, stiffly curled around your phone. You hadn’t thought to look for motorcycles at the intersection. If only you had looked twice. If you only you hadn’t been distracted. You would’ve saved his life. Next time you drive, remember—the text can wait. Distracted driving is deadly.