Two years ago to this coming Monday, my world was torn apart when my dear friend Anabel Reid was killed in a bus accident that injured 15 other students and faculty members.
Her absence left a gaping hole in my life, the effects of which I still feel every single day.
The ACU community has experienced too many losses because of automobile accidents.
Each of these incidents has deeply affected hundreds of people. Speaking from experience, I can say one of the most frustrating things we have had to deal with is the fact that each of these accidents could have been prevented with safe driving.
Many drivers, especially college students, have shoved the practice of safe driving to the back seat. What is worse, they don’t even bother hiding the evidence.
I’ve seen tweets about running stop signs and red lights, listened to people brag about driving over the speed limit and observed numerous people texting and driving. One time, I was almost clipped in the parking lot as I was walking to class. The driver obviously felt the content on her phone’s screen was more important than checking her rear-view mirror as she backed out of her parking space.
One of the hazards of living on or near a college campus is dealing traffic. When you combine pedestrians walking to class with college drivers who have the naive belief they are invincible, it’s a scary combination.
Let’s cover some basic rules everyone should follow. No exceptions.
First, pedestrians always have the right-of-way. Always. Why? You are in a two-ton machine protected by airbags and a seatbelt. They are less than 300 pounds of flesh and blood. Drivers should be particularly cautious if the Lunsford Trail crosses the intersection at which they are stopped, especially after sunset.
Second, put the phone down. If it’s tempting you, stick it in your purse or in the backseat. Just get it out of your reach. The action of texting and driving is illegal in most states and is banned for novice drivers in Texas. However, changing the song on your iPod, checking notifications or even just reading a text is distracting enough. I can guarantee that text you want to send or song you want to play is not worth your life and it is not worth someone else’s life.
Finally, know the law, follow the law and use common sense when getting behind the wheel. Stoplights and stop signs are there for a reason. Obeying them is not optional. Use your turn signal.
It only takes an instant to end a life and change hundreds of others. If you don’t know the pain of losing someone in a car accident that could have been avoided, get down on your knees and thank God right now. I pray you never have to know that pain. Don’t be the cause of it.
Drive safely. You are worth it.