The ringing is all I can hear now. It drowns out the song stuck in my head all day. It covers static still coming from the broken radio. It masks the sirens, the traffic, the bystanders. I do not think I will ever escape it. It will not let me forget what I’ve done. Those last few seconds are all I know now. Looking up too late, closing my eyes tight to brace for impact. The images loop endlessly in my head, blocking any coherent train of thought. The vocabulary list, with its demands of perfection, is inconsequential. The clock, its blinking a constant reminder of my tardiness, has become insignificant. Only the wreckage remains. I am a good person. I love and worry and plan the future. I am responsible. I do not text and drive; it is not safe. I focus on the road. The laws of physics do not care that today was the exception. I woke up late this morning. I have an English test today. No. I would have had an English test today. Those last few words I reviewed in the car do not matter. No number of words could convey the enormity of my regret. I have good intentions. I want to be a doctor. This will not matter to the girl in the other ambulance. I did not need to be a doctor to save her life. She should not have needed saving. All she needed was my attention. The ringing stops. The guilt stops. Everything stops. I was a good person. It did not matter. I was not the exception.
This is a creative writing piece from the perspective of a girl who has been in a collision due to driving while distracted by schoolwork. It illustrates that no one is exempt from the repurcussions of distracted driving, even those who are not distracted by electronics or other common factors of collisions. My hope is that it will allow people to learn from her mistake without making the same poor choices themselves, and foster more open discussion of the issue both legally and within society. By raising awareness of the facts that there are no exceptions and when collisions happen there is no undoing them, this piece encourages others to hold eachother and more importantly themselves accountable for their focus while operating a vehicle of any kind.