I was tempted to post this yesterday but in all reality, seat belts have nothing to do with running and this is a running blog, right? And the event isn't directly linked to my life. However, it is still lurking there in the back of my mind so hang in there with me as I deviate one day from blogging about running and fitness to blog about wearing your seatbelt.
I am sure you have heard it 100 times. Wear your seatbelt. If you live in a state where it is mandatory, you probably hear it more. Wear your seatbelt.
Thing is, so many times people don't. I really don't know why they skip it. It takes a second and it makes a huge difference. Really, it does.
On Sunday there was an awful car crash just minutes from my home. You can read about it HERE and HERE. The collision involved a total of 9 people: 6 in one car, 3 in another. 5 people died....four 20-year olds, one 19-year old. Of those 5, NONE were wearing a seatbelt and they were all in the same car, a car that was ripped in half by the force of the collision. The driver of that car was wearing a seatbelt and is still alive.
This story touches me for various reasons: those who lost their lives are so young, it happened on a stretch of road I travel daily, I am typically on that stretch at that time Sunday mornings going to church (darling daughter convinced me to stay at home longer....and for some reason, I didn't resist that morning), each day there are runners, walkers, and cyclists along that stretch of road, a simple act of wearing a seatbelt may have made it less tragic. Yes, there are other factors involved that could have, and should have, been avoided but still.....
Ironically the next day my husband texted me as I was driving home from work. I didn't get his text until I was at home. Oops...he wanted me to pick up spaghetti sauce and wasn't too happy I didn't. But you see, I ignore my phone when I am driving. Sorry, that is the way it is. He ended up calling his son to pick some up on his way over, and he brought some. But this turned into a teachable moment for me. When stepson arrived I thanked him for picking up the sauce and let him know I ignored his Dad's text because I was driving. We talked about how anything can wait until I was safe at my destination. Plus, if someone really needed me, they would keep calling/texting and I would know to pull over to see what was up. I think the message hit home.....especially in light of the awful accident the day before. On a side note, my darling daughter already understands the rules of driving and no distractions as she will ask "Mommy, when you get to a red light can you hand me your phone so I can play a game?". Yep....I won't even hand my phone back to her when I am driving.
The actions we take and the things we do impact so many others. The first ripple just gets bigger. Those victims, I don't personally know any but a friend of mine does. It hurts. And today I hope I generated a ripple that might touch one person and convince them to wear their seatbelt and to drive safe.
Daily Gratitude: I am thankful for the freedom to speak about things like this.
Daily Affirmation: I have the ability to embrace and act upon teachable moments.