Sunday, September 25, 2011

All Roads Lead to Memory Lane

Anna, age 2, Perkiomenville, PA
365 days a year an average of over 90 loved ones die on American roadways, with thousands more dying on roads around the world. Their names include Anna, Shaye, Kyle, Erika, Justin, Anthony, Nadia, Cady, James, Ashley, Brianna, Ian, Tia, Conor, Maddison, Nick, Natalie,and so many others loved by family and friends. They are our daughters, sons, brothers, sisters, moms, dads. They die on every kind of roadway, from the neighborhood street to the highway. 

When we think about it, every road we travel leads to memory lane - the place that held the possibilities, the hopes, the dreams, of those that every family that has experienced the death of a loved one due to a traffic incident recall each day. We may not think about these loved ones each time we take to the road, but their memories are indeed present on just about any stretch of road we travel.

Michael Everson's "Run to Remember" shoe dedicated to Erika Joy Rowan
How can you honor the memory of every loved one who had died in a traffic incident? I suggest that we do so every time we act in a courteous and safe manner behind the wheel or while a passenger in a motor vehicle. All you have to do is:

Be Aware! Drive With Care - Notice what is going on around as you drive - people walking, riding, children at play - and slow down or adjust other behaviors accordingly.

You care by walking around our vehicle before getting in and starting the engine. Make sure no children are around who may be hit as we back up or move forward.

You care by buckling up and making sure all passengers do so as well.

You care by putting away your cell phone - no talking, no texting. The research is in; even talking on a cell phone - hands-free or otherwise - causes one to drive more erratically than driving under the influence at .08 - legally drunk. 

 You care by observing speed limits, stop signs and traffic signals. We remember the words of Tia's dad, "Don't let the 2 minutes you save be the last 2 minutes of someone's life." He uttered these words in the wake of Tia's death - hit while crossing in a marked crosswalk at a stop sign. The first driver stopped. The one behind him decide to go around, hitting Tia and her friend, who luckily survived.

You care by creating space between your vehicle and others around you. A rule of thumb; allow 3 seconds of space between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Find a fixed object - a pole, a bridge, a sign - make sure that 3 seconds pass before you pass that object after vehicle in front of you passes that same object.

As you head out on the road, make every trip worthy of a drive down memory lane in honor of all who have died on roadways of every kind.

To make a difference in your community, visit:

Call Keep Kids Alive Drive 25®at 402-334-1391.

It’s About Kids! It’s About Safety! It’s About Caring! It’s About Time!®

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