Look At All Those Logs
“Look at all those logs!” My mother was looking over her left shoulder at an eighteen-wheel log truck exiting from our neighborhood. Often times I’ve heard such statements of astonishment from her while on the road. Look at that beautiful house, look at the cows, look at those Christmas lights! It was not unusual to find my mother scanning the side of the road while she was driving, not for possible dangers, but for possible beauties; the kind one could only find on the side of the road. That day was no different, but I had no time to reply to my mother’s exclamation, because, unlike her, I was watching the road. I watched while we continued on our trajectory. We were on our way home, five minutes away – what could happen five minutes from home? As we approached a two-way stop, I watched the white car, whose nose was sticking too far into the road. I barely had my driving permit, but even I could tell that the driver of the white car was very unaware of the length of their car. In the span of a minute I had time to think, very rationally, that we were about to get into a wreck. Maybe I tried to tell my mother to slow down, to stop, but I couldn’t remember – all I could do was prepare myself for an experience that was terrifying and brand new to me. The impact of car-on-car was lost in my memory. In hindsight, I held a freudian-like belief that the impact was lost in the subconscious of my mind; however, the ramifications of the wreck were not lost to me. I spent weeks, months, even, jumpy and distrusting of other drivers. Fear put me in a cage to which I held the only key if I only knew how to turn it. The experience left me with a conviction that distracted driving can be far more dangerous than just the threat of physical trauma. The emotional trauma that comes from the inevitable end of distracted driving can be just as terrible – nobody deserves to live by fear.