The Harsh Reminders of Traffic School

driving safety

Don is about to kill his wife.

Not on purpose, of course, because he loves her. Talking with her and laughing with her are two of the only things in his life that bring Don blissful joy.

Don’s other love is his car. He loves the thrill of pushing its limits and accelerating quickly, even on city streets. By combining those two loves, Don will tragically lose them both within a couple of seconds.

This PSA is fictional, but it’s all too real.

I bring up the grisly topic of traffic deaths because I think everyone needs a timely reminder to stay safe while driving. My wife-to-be got a speeding ticket a few weeks ago and elected to attend traffic school instead of paying the fine. There were a lot of scare-tactic videos in the class, but also stories from local police officers who have lost wives and children in preventable car accidents.

Did you know that a person hit by a car moving at 20 miles per hour has a 90 percent of living, while someone hit by a car moving at 30 miles per hour has a 90 percent chance of dying?

Did you know that texting while driving slows a driver’s response time more than alcohol?

Did you know that car collisions are the top cause of death for people between the ages of 2 and 34?

Did you know that speed limits are based on safety suggestions from road engineers, not just random numbers generated by local governments?

We all learned in our driver’s education classes in high school that a slight increase in speed translates to a large increase in stopping distance. As a kid with a major case of invincibility syndrome, I didn’t pay much attention to such things. Today, though, with kids and responsibilities and a desire to, you know, live, I think it’s worth our time as seasoned drivers to take a few minutes and remember that our cars are actually 3,000-pound missiles capable of inflicting serious harm if handled incorrectly.

As the summer driving season begins, please take a moment and think about driving the speed limit, coming to a full stop at Stop signs and following the rules of the road.

Doing so won’t just keep your loved ones as safe as possible, but mine, too.

Do you consider yourself a safe driver?


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