A Deadly Text

As most of you know I’m often on the road travelling, so the subject I’m about to write about, though darker than usual, is particularly relevant and important.

A few days ago I received a phone call from my 20yo daughter who’s living and working in the High Country of Victoria. She’d just arrived home from her morning shift and seen the aftermath of an accident. It had happened only minutes earlier, on the Great Alpine Road at Eurobin, barely 100 metres from the gate of the property where she lives.

A Winnebago had slammed into a huge tree, killing the sole occupant, a 60 year old woman instantly. My daughter was in tears, the scene clearly devastating. I too shed tears as I tried to console her over the phone. I could barely imagine the anguish of the woman’s family, who had been travelling behind her at the time.

We spoke a bit about what happened and more generally about the risks involved every time we step into a car. She’s often on the road for work and travelling to and from Melbourne and my 17yo son is currently learning how to drive so I’m always reminding them to be safe and responsible drivers.

I don’t know the cause of the accident at Eurobin, perhaps it was fatigue or a lapse of concentration. I don’t want to speculate because we all know it takes barely a split second for something to go wrong. All I do know is I felt extreme sadness.

Later that day, speaking to my daughter at length again, I was horrified to hear some of her stories. She told me how so many of her friends and acquaintances distract themselves, by choice, when they drive.

She told me that not only do they check and read messages while they drive, but they record and send videos. Apparently the latest and most common trend amongst teenagers is to record snap-chats while driving and show off the music they’re listening to in the car at the time.

In reality all they’re doing is putting everyone in danger, including whoever is travelling the other way. These non thinking drivers ‘could literally wipe out an entire family with their stupidity, all for the sake of showing their Snap-chat mates whatever shit music they’re listening to.’

My daughter told me she’s had countless arguments with smart arse drivers in the past, telling them how stupid it is to snap chat and drive. The response, she said, was usually laughter and a brush off.

Learning how to drive responsibly is more than just about driving on the right side of the road

Now most of you know that I love taking photos in the car but it’s always from the passenger seat or when the car is stopped. As for taking calls, I’ll be honest, I’ve been guilty of talking on my speakerphone, but I’ll think twice now about doing that.

Is it really that important to stay connected every minute of the day? Do we need to check emails and to know what’s going on in the world when we’re driving? The distraction and the consequences could be as dangerous as driving drunk.

Texting takes your hands off the wheel and your eyes off the road. That’s when accidents are more likely to happen.

The messages are clear. Take regular breaks when you drive and don’t allow yourself to be distracted by your phone. If it rings and you have to answer it, pull over when it’s safe and don’t ever text whilst driving. The risks and consequences are way too high.

When we’re connected to our devices we’re disconnected from our world.

We could be totally disconnected from the world with one downward look or swipe. Bottom line, when you’re on the road, keep your eyes on the road.

My heart goes out to anyone who’s suffered any sort of loss as a result of a car accident. Let’s all do our part to keep the roads safe.

Life is far too precious.

Stay safe and drive carefully so we can all enjoy the journey.

In light and love.


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149 thoughts on “A Deadly Text

  1. Such a hugely important message Miri. I have also been guilty of answering my phone (speaker phone) while driving but like you, will make a commitment to stop doing that until I can pull over. Your daughter is so bright and you must be so proud of her for speaking up when others her age think it’s perfectly fine to take part in such stupid games.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am very proud of her Nikki. Doesn’t stop me worrying about her though, but I guess that’s part and parcel of being a mum. Hope you’re well. xx

      Like

  2. “When we’re connected to our devices we’re disconnected from our world.”

    Such a powerful post and incredible lesson for your daughter & your readers. Thank you for taking the time to share Miriam. You are a gift to us all. xo

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I had no idea about this silly trend amongst teenagers. I have two kids about the same age as yours. They are responsible but I shall have a talk with them about this behavior. There are tasks that require our full attention and cannot be combined. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here in Australia it’s not just the idiots on the road we have to watch for. In the outback it’s wildlife too. On our roadtrips we’ve had a few run ins with kangaroos. Fortunately nothing serious.And we hope the last Skippy to run foul of our car was not too badly hurt. It hopped off before we could check. We’re just always careful to avoid driving early mornings and evenings when they tend to be out and about more.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. How awful for your daughter to experience that! 😥

    At the same time, how great that she’s smart enough to be smart enough! She knows better than to engage in such terribly risky behavior, and that is such a blessing. ❤ xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

  6. We’re more distracted when we text and drive than when we consume alcohol and drive. I can’t for the life of me understand what could possibly be so important that it can’t wait until a car ride is over.

    I’m a millennial (dreaded generation, I know, but in the very latter half), but part of my childhood was spent without the internet. I can remember what it was like to live without a cell phone, to have to go to the library to look something up, and not talking to someone the second a thought crossed my head…imagine, waiting.

    I know it isn’t only millennials who are guilty of this, but I see a lot more young people than older people texting and driving (and also speeding, but that’s another story).

    What people choose to do in their own lives to, quite frankly risk it, is there own business – smoking, drinking, overeating, whatever the case may be. But when you start risking other people’s lives so you can use your phone, well, I’m not okay with that at all.

    Thanks for sharing this important post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with everything you’ve written here. Like you I’ve also lived most of my life without the internet, travelled extensively without posting in social media, driven hours in a car without a device and generally coped without a phone. It’s amazing how times have changed. I just hope that people wake up to themselves about how much of a danger it is to drive and use a phone simultaneously. I’m not okay with that either.
      Thanks so much for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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