Almost Home

Rebecca A

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It’s been a long day. Your day started off at six am with an eight hour shift at work, then ended after two back to back classes. You’re on your way home to kick back, relax and submerge yourself in Netflix while trying to find the will to start some homework. Windows rolled down slightly, Maroon 5’s “Girls Like You” blasting through your stereo. Your iPhone is connected to your cars Apple CarPlay setting. *DING* You’re at a red light. You look at the screen of your car and see a text from your best friends. They probably wanted to hang out. You took a minute to contemplate if you wanted to open the message. You click the message on the screen as the light turns green. You start to turn at the protected left light. Four more lights and you were home. The music abruptly shuts off and your phone is reading the message out to you. Your best friend says “what’s up? come over we’re all hanging out at my house!” Netflix plans ruined, but you think ‘why not, I’ll just go over for a few hours’. Your Apple CarPlay Siri asks if you want to respond, then beeps indicating to start speaking. You respond “heck yes! I’m coming over right now.” You’re now two streets from your house and decide you are going to go change into some comfy clothes before hanging out with your friends. But you weren’t talking clearly enough for the car speaker to understand you, so the message types out incorrectly. Realizing this, you glance at the message on the screen and reach over to delete it and re-speak it into the speaker. Except you never do. While you were focused on the screen, the light you were approaching turned red. You were still going about 55 mph, 10 miles over the speed limit. Fear. Screeching noises. Uncontrollable spinning. You grip your steering wheel, but can’t seem to get it to straighten out. You never even saw another car coming. It happened in a split second. You don’t realize it, but you’re screaming at the top of your lungs, saying every curse word you know. Then you close your eyes. You hear nothing. All you feel, is the sheer amount of force your car is thrown. Then, nothing. Just black. Even hands free is distracted driving. No matter where you are, how updated technology is or how invincible you think you are. A notification can always wait.