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Thistles & Roses

Reckless Driving


I was headed home on FM5 recently on a clear, normal day. Then one of those split-second moments when time seems to cease, occurred. 

A vehicle driving in the opposing lane began a slow but steady drift into my lane, head-on. I remember thinking, “I am going to have to veer right, off the road, through some fences, and hope my car comes to a halt.”

I was beginning to make that move when the other vehicle swerved sharply back into his lane.

I was able to abort the desperate move and slowly pulled back on the road from the shoulder.

I still can’t believe how close I was to a head-on collision.

If  I had to make the move, my car would have been damaged and some fences and other property would have been destroyed. But somehow I remembered a lesson from driver’s education — avoid head-on collisions at all costs.

I remember seeing a young man behind the wheel staring down at what must have been his phone. He had to know he was a split second from death. Had he missed me, he was headed off the road himself.

Is it as dangerous to text and drive as it is to drive while intoxicated? 

According to a Car and Driver magazine article published years ago, it may be worse to text while driving. (https://www.caranddriver.com/features/a16580948/texting-while-driving-how-dangerous-is-it/)

Some readers may remember that I wrote about this article a few years ago. My  recent experience has caused me to revisit it.

How many times have we driven down the highway, overtaking a slow vehicle weaving from side to side?

Then you get along beside them and they are staring down at their phone.

I suggest reading the Car and Driver article. The difference in reaction times from a drunk driver were astounding. The texting drivers had a much slower reactions. Car and Driver conducted a controlled test on a former U.S. Air Force runway.

I confess I have texted while driving in the past but, I do not now after learning the dangers. 

A lot of people think that they are immune, that it won’t happen to them —until it does, or worse, maybe their child.

I haven’t yet put  a bumper sticker that I saw that says “ Hang Up and Drive!” on my car. But I am thinking about it.


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