And They All Lived Not-So Happily Ever After
Once upon a time, in a land where princes and princesses fascinated the world with their elegance and riches, there was a marvelous ball to celebrate the birthday of a prince. The music was flowing and the guests twirled around under the moonlit sky. Eventually, the guests grew weary and decided it was time to leave. One princess, in particular, was trying to grab the attention of her driver, but the driver was distracted by his cell phone and was oblivious to the princess’ beckoning. Eventually, the princess was able to obtain her driver’s attention and gathered herself into the carriage. While riding in the carriage back home, the driver’s cell phone lit up with a text from the princess’s father, asking if his daughter was on her way home from the ball. The driver knew it was wrong to text and drive but firmly believed that if he only looked down occasionally there would be no trouble. He promptly made the decision to quickly type a response to his master. Yet the driver looked down for too long and didn’t notice a rider and his horse crossing the road. By the time the sheriff and his deputies arrived at the scene, there was no hope for anyone involved in the accident. The princess’s white dress was stained red with her blood because her driver took a few seconds to look away from the road and reply to a text. Like this fairy tale, distracted driving does not end with a happy ending. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, nine people are killed every day due to distracted driving incidents. That’s roughly 3,000 innocent lives killed each year because of a loss of focus while on the road. That’s roughly 3,000 families getting an unexpected phone call telling them that their loved one has died in a motor accident due to a distracted driver each year. That’s roughly 3,000 headstones in a graveyard that shouldn’t be there each year. Some would argue that like the driver in the story, they don’t need to look at their phone to send a text. However, their mind is not focused on the road. Their mind is focused on the message they’re trying to send. Even if you aren’t looking away from the road, if someone is distracted from their surroundings, then they are putting themselves and others in serious danger. Texting and driving is the most common form of distracted driving, but that doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Give yourself and the ones you love a chance of a happy ending. Stop texting and driving.
This short story begins with the classic fairytale opening line of “once upon a time”. However, that doesn’t mean the story will end with a “happily ever after”. A princess is being returned home from a ball when her stagecoach driver becomes distracted by his cell phone. While distracted, the driver has a head-on collision with another driver, and everyone involved in the accident meets a tragic end. The driver only looked away for a couple seconds, and I explain in the rest of the essay how only a couple seconds can be two seconds too long. Distracted driving not only puts the driver and their passengers in danger, but everyone else who is on the road with them. I end the story pleading with the audience to end texting and driving and to give themselves and their loved ones the chance at a “happily ever after” ending.