A Life Saved and A Life Lost

Samiksha R

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Driving while distracted can be deadly. One innocent text message, one quick phone call, one change of music on the stereo, one look away from the road can lead to screeching tires, endless silence, and police sirens. The best way to drive safely is to remember that there is someone in the world that loves you very much and they would be heartbroken if you didn’t return home. It could be your parents, your siblings, your spouse, your children or even a pet. No text is worth more than your life. No phone call is worth more than their tears. If you realize how much you have to live for, then you will not make any careless mistakes. And even if you don’t have anyone in this world, think of the other people who will be impacted by your inability to overcome your distractions. You could be the reason a baby grows up without a mother. You could be the reason a dog is left wondering why their owner never returned. You could be the reason someone’s parents have the light of their lives and entire world cruelly snatched from them. It is important to ask if your conscience could withstand the enormous guilt. Is it worth putting your life and the life of others at risk for something that could have waited? During senior year right before prom, two parents came to my school to raise awareness about drunk driving. Their daughter had been killed by a drunk teenage driver who had a little too much fun at the prom after party. In one moment, everything was over. I can still remember their tear-stained faces and heavy voices. The pain in their heart was so clearly visible in their eyes. Families who had lost their loved ones donated the crash cars to their foundation. Going into the parking lot and looking at all the mangled cars was heartbreaking. I could imagine the people in them and the pain they had felt in the last seconds of their life. It was so easy to construct a life for those unknown people, give them hobbies and create an entire backstory. I could see everything clearly before my eyes and especially see the horrific crash they had endured. It was at that second that it truly hit me. It was the first time I cried, truly cried, for people I didn’t even know. I cried for the innocent lives that had been taken too soon, the dreams that had been left unfulfilled, the goals they had yet to reach, the wishes they never got to make, the moments they didn’t get to live and the people they had left behind. As a society, we are always told how drunk driving can be risky and deadly. Yet, there is a huge difference between hearing the message as a PSA and hearing it from two parents who have lost their child. The pain of losing someone you love is the same no matter how they die, whether by distracted or drunk driving. This story is a testament that driving without proper attention and care can be disastrous. If you get a text, wait until you reach your destination. If you take a phone call, use Bluetooth. If there is any other distraction, just wait until the car is stopped. Nothing was, is or ever will be more important than your life. Life is too beautiful to be cut short by a careless mistake. So, the next time and every time you drive, remember the three D’s: Distracted Driving is Deadly.