Yes. I know. Everyone does it, right? I see people doing all kinds of crazy things while they are driving. I’ve seen people shaving and putting on make-up. Once, I saw a woman eating a bowl of cereal or soup. I couldn’t get a good look. The light turned green, so I couldn’t jump out of my car, bang on her window, and yell, “Just #$%^ing drive when you’re driving!” like I wanted to.
Horrific texting and driving accidents are things that happen to other people, right? I think all of us have our list of tragic things that will not happen to us. Until last week, my son being hit by a texting idiot was on my “not me” list. Then, I got “the call.” You know, the call you never want to get.
My husband was out of town last week, of course, so I was on single parent duty. My son and his girlfriend had gone to a movie premiere that she had tickets to. They took her car, a little, oldish, Honda. I knew they would be home at around 10:00, so I started getting ready for bed then. I washed the make-up off my face, brushed my teeth, put my night guard in (I’m a grinder), put on my pajamas, and took my Benedryl. I take Benedryl just about every night for allergies and sleeping. Lucky for everyone, I only took ONE pill.
About twenty minutes after I went through my routine, my phone rang. It was my son. I instantly got a stomach cramp because, like me, my son HATES to talk on the phone. So, if he wasn’t texting, something was wrong. I answered on the first half ring.
“Hello. Are you OK?”
“Mom, Um, I’ve been in an accident.” Hyperventilating noises.
“Is everyone OK?” I pictured him trapped in the car, and his girlfriend, a skinny little thing, dead.
He WAS trapped in the car. Both of them were because they were rear-ended by an idiot who was texting and the impact jammed the doors shut. My son’s girlfriend had hit the brakes to avoid a deer and the car in front of her, which had braked. The idiot behind them did not brake. She rammed into them going about 55 miles per hour. If there had been someone in the backseat, that person would not be walking and would possibly be dead.
Some nice couple came out of their house to help them. A man stopped to pull my son and his girlfriend out of the car window. I wish I had thanked them all. I didn’t. I arrived on the scene about ten minutes after the call, in sweats and wearing my night guard. I immediately checked both of them for damage and noticed brown spots on my son’s sweater.
“Are you bleeding?” I asked him.
“No. I checked him first.” His wonderful girlfriend.
“No. It’s my cherry vanilla Coke from Johnny Rockets. It went everywhere.” My son.
That’s not all that went everywhere. His glasses flew off of his face. His girlfriend’s phone was found outside of the car. Her father had to climb in the car to retrieve some of her school things, carefully avoiding the glass from the busted in back window. Take a look at the pictures. It was a disaster.
So, what did the driver who hit them have to say? “I looked away for like half a sec.”
“For like half a sec?” Such casual language for such a horrific accident. I wanted to smack her so hard. I held back because I needed to be calm for my son, and because his girlfriend said, “It’s my friend from school!” I wanted to tell her that this person was NOT a friend. So not a friend. I bet the paramedics are sick of pulling dead bodies out of cars because of people like this friend who can’t wait five minutes to return a text.
I feel bad for my son, and his girlfriend, who are in physical pain from her actions, but I also feel bad for the other girl’s parents. They arrived on the scene in their work clothes, with their occupations printed on their shirts. I could tell there’s not a lot of free flowing cash there. So, totaling a car is definitely not an affordable thing. I hope her parents don’t buy her a new car. She doesn’t deserve a car. She deserves a kick in the ass, or fifty. I’m volunteering to do this for them, if needed.
She can never make this right. She can never do anything to make up for it. I do hope she has at least learned from this. When she gets to drive again, I hope she just drives, rather than “looks away for half a sec.” I also hope she talks about this to everyone she knows. Her friends need to know that texting and driving accidents happen to real people.
My son and his girlfriend are OK for the most part. Both have neck and back pain. I’m told it could take years to really know what damage has been done. I’m grateful they weren’t killed, but I’m angry that the girlfriend lost her car, and both of them have pain because an idiot decided to take her eyes off the road. Just drive when you drive. It really can, and should, wait.
Is it worth it?