Thursday, September 25, 2014

My First Car Accident.

I've been driving with a license for almost a year. Not once had I ever gotten into an accident while driving, I am the most careful driver ever. I pull over if I need to call someone or text, or I wait until a red light to take a bite of my food. I am the driver that lets people pass and I follow the speed limit, and I never tailgate.
I often drop my sister off at school and today I decided to take the long way back since the parking lot was full with parents who were in a hurry, and weren't going to let me turn a certain direction because of the long line.
I live right next to the school, and I ended up right in front of the biggest parking lot, and they stop traffic there to allow cars to come in and out. The police handle the traffic there especially because a lot of kids walk to school.
I took my sausage mcmuffin out of the bag and I took two bites. I put it down on the seat and was getting ready to start going, the car in front of me was being a bit slow. When suddenly, I felt my car get hit, and my car moved forward along with my body.
It took me a second to realize that I'd just been hit from behind, and I wasn't sure if the person who hit me had been hit as well, and it had become a domino effect or what. I was so angry and I was afraid. I was getting ready to get out and yell at the person, but cars started to beep, so I turned into the school parking lot and had the guy follow me.
Once parked, I realized that it was a high school kid. A junior (he was wearing class colors, juniors are yellow). He looked mortified and I realized that he was just scared like I was. I calmed down and I got out of my car.
I looked at my car, terrified of what I would see, but thankfully it was only a scratch on the paint job, no dent or anything. I didn't even care about the scratch, my bumper paint has been coming off, so I could care less.
he asked me if I was fine, and I was just shaken up like he was. I got his information, and he asked me if I wanted to call the police. I thought, for what? It was a scratch and we're both fine. I told him it was okay, but I had to talk to my dad because I needed to know what he wanted me to do and I had his information in case I wanted to file a police report later.
My dad said as long as I got his information, and the car was fine and I was fine, there was no need to call the police.
So I let the kid go, but not before I asked him what happened, and why did he bump into my car? He seemed to get a bit nervous, and I had a feeling I knew why. He said he moved his foot off the brake, and didn't realize it because he was trying to find a way into the parking lot.
He got distracted.
We all get distracted. We're all human and we make mistakes I understand that. But distracted driving accounts for a lot of accidents nowadays. Check out these statistics I got from Distraction.gov
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include:
In 2012, An estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted drive.
But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.

Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.

That last statistic is the one that scares me the most. The fact that people text and drive, is just completely terrifying for me.
When I drive, I put my phone in my bag on the passenger seat. I know there are apps that stop you from texting and driving, and now the insurance companies have rules about it, and also it is very illegal (at least in Illinois) to be on your phone while driving.
There are also many organizations that bring awareness to what texting and driving can do. A text is not worth your life. The text can wait. Please think about it the next time you get a text while driving, don't look at your phone.
- Rebeca x