I don’t really do New Year’s Resolutions. But this year I had decided I would stop texting and driving. I read an article that someone else had blogged about how they were obsessed with their smart phone to the point where it was interfering with their family life. He made the comment that texting and driving put not only him in danger but also his family and others on the road who he didn’t even know. Recognizing that it was a bigger deal than just the one texting pushed me to quit. It worked for awhile, but I’m really good at texting without looking at my keyboard. It’s probably because I am on my computer so much and I never look then either; I can feel the board on my phone too so I can walk, drive, hike, etc without looking down to see what I’m typing. So it seemed that I didn’t really have a chance of putting someone–even myself–in danger.
Last night I saw two accidents on my drive home. In the darkness near an exit ramp that isn’t well lit, the entire highway was blocked off and there were two cars that had been crunched to unusable scraps of metal. In the flashing lights of emergency vehicles I could see a stretcher. and it wasn’t being carried to the ambulance. It was just sitting there, the red and blue lights eerily reflecting off the metal of the stretching that just sat there, useless.
Then, I had to swerve to miss another accident on the next highway. Six cars blocked up three of the six lanes, surrounded by four or five cop cars, and two fire trucks. I caught a glimpse of them pulling a woman with stringy blonde hair from a battered black jetta.
It was like a horrific flashback to the accident in Seattle when I drove past K’s car, hardly recognizing it in its precarious perch on top of another. I couldn’t stop thinking of the ER, where Keeleh and Anthony had to leave the room as I adjusted K’s leg, with blood spilling from the knee cap. I remembered the endless hours at the hospital, most of which she won’t ever recall thanks to the “happy button” of morphine that dulled the endless, gnawing pain.
And while I don’t know what caused the accidents last night, even though K’s accident wasn’t because of texting, I turned my phone over so I couldn’t see the screen and I said to myself that it just isn’t worth risking. It’ll be hard because I’m attached to that little hunk of blue metal, but I’m done texting and driving.