Last week my son was a front-seat passenger in a car that was broadsided by a large pick-up truck braking frantically at 45 mph. He and the driver were both buckled up. The car was hit on the rear side panel on the passenger side. Four feet of metal kept Michael alive, coming out of the incident with a mild seat belt burn. His friend was okay as well.
4 feet - 48 inches - not much space at all; a little over a yard on a football field. It puts the gift and fragility of life in perspective. It can be the difference between sharing a meal with loved ones or planning a funeral.
Studies conducted by Virginia Tech demonstrate that the 3 seconds prior to a crash make all the difference. There is no stopwatch that begins these 3 seconds. They play over and over again with every moment we are behind the wheel. That is why it is critical to make driving the number one priority - not speeding, not texting, not eating, not running stop signs or signals, not tailgating. These all represent behaviors that sooner or later bound to lead to a crash - one that could have been avoided/prevented if only we gave driving and the rules of road our full and undivided attention.
May each of us observe the rules of the road so that we return to our loved ones and our loved ones return to us each day. And may we remember every loved one who has every died or been permanently disabled as a result of a motor vehicle incident. They too remind us the difference that 4 feet can make.
"Be Aware! Drive With Care"