I want to take a minute away from parenting and stories about my children to talk about drivers in general and technology.And no this is not going to be one of those ‘I hate technology lets got back to being cave-people thing’.
In the last few months I have been a close witness to some serious accidents.
The first was a nurse who drove her car into a parked vehicle at high velocity destroying everything in her path.
Her car had to be towed away.
Luckily she was unhurt, just shocked.
There, a few yards away, was a man walking along taking pictures of the wreckage.
The second was a child being hit by a car whilst the child was crossing the road.
I was stuck and couldn’t go anywhere for a while and in that time people were going to see what happened. I couldn’t bring myself to go down when I heard it was a child.
The child had to be airlifted to hospital.
People were taking pictures of the incident, the helicopter or talking in whispers on their phones.
The third one was today.
Two cars collided and the front bumper of one had totally collapsed on itself. The police were in attendance and from the look of things no one was hurt but a woman was crying from the shock of the situation.
I could see people videoing whilst driving past.
Every day I witness people driving whilst texting or talking on their phones.
Every day I have to use my horn because they are coming into my lane too engrossed in their little bubble.
Which means that I am close to being in a serious accident every time I’m on the road.
There have been countless adverts and programs on television about this and endless videos on YouTube about the dangers of driving whilst using a devise.
Why keep doing it?
Do drivers feel so invulnerable in their vehicles that they don’t believe anything will happen to them? Are they so important and above the law that they don’t care?
I don’t feel like I can ever let my children go to school alone, not because I don’t trust them, but because I don’t trust other road users.
Is this unfair of me, am I being over critical?
Is it normal to think so far ahead to the day my girls want to learn to drive and the technology becoming more and more addictive that I would rather they use public transport than having to deal with the dangers, or being a danger on the road?
(Wow, that was a long sentence!)
I don’t want that call in the middle of the night to tell me that something has happened to my child.
The thought of it…. Unbearable!
As a society, we have become very engaged with our little devices and I’m not innocent by any means. You see it all the time, people walking around with their noses in the technology forgetting to look at the world around them.
Things don’t seem to be witnessed by the eye anymore, but more and more by the technology.
Unless it’s on a screen it doesn’t seem worth admiring anymore.
I have to remind myself to look up and around and I do try to make a conscious effort not to keep my eyes fixed on these screens all around me.
Having digressed into a rant I go back to my original theme.
Everyone has done it.
You drive along, your phone beeps or buzzes or…whatever yours does, and like an instinct you jump to see what it is, or answer that call and you veer off track, but by some miracle you manage to regain your concentration and avoid, by a slight margin, what could have been a bad accident.
Or, being so engrossed in the conversation, the road is crossed without looking when all of a sudden, looking up, there’s a big red bus an inch from your nose. Wow, how did that happen?
I’m not downing technology. The fact that all kind of information is at the finger tip is amazing.
However, it is nice, every so often, to look up and to watch the world through ones own eyes.
As Khalil Gibran said in one of his book:
Memory is an autumn leaf that murmurs a while in the wind and then is heard no more.