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The Flip Side of Speed – Both Hands on the Wheel

Hawthorne, Calif., November 15 — Okay, I’ll start this with a confession. When Champ Car announced Graham Rahal as its spokesman for a campaign encouraging young drivers to keep both hands on the wheel, I responded with the almost obligatory pressroom ambivalence and nonchalance. What the heck did reminding drivers not to text message while driving have to do with yours truly anyway? As it turns out, it has a great deal to do with me.

You see, today I didn’t get to watch Mexico City’s Champ Car finale live. I needed to be somewhere else, in my case, at a co-worker’s baby shower. Jeff and I Tivo’ed the race and went to Costco afterwards to do some strategic shopping. Our drive home from Costco is less than a mile, and it’s almost entirely through a residential neighborhood that we all consider safe.

We’ve lived here since our teenager was a baby, so we have probably gone through the intersection of Isis and 135th Street thousands of times. I’ve never had a moment of fear or trepidation while going through there at less than 25 miles per hour. Today, all of that changed. It no longer seems safe, and all because some little bitch was too busy text messaging to keep both hands on the wheel, and so was also too busy to notice that she came within inches of killing me.

There we were, it was a little rainy, and suddenly a late model silver Ford crew cab pickup comes barreling into the intersection at over 60 miles per hour. Jeff and I were already driving through, and there was no way to turn back. My side of the car would definitely be hit, and with no side air bags, my chance of surviving this little bitch’s lack of attention to her driving would have been small, except for one thing.

We’re racers. We know how to control and handle a car in addition to driving fast, so Jeff took quick evasive action, and drove in the opposite direction, directly into what would have been oncoming traffic. I could have survived a slow speed hit into them easier than the little bitch’s 60+ miles per hour in our residential neighborhood. We were incredibly lucky having no oncoming traffic, and having no children playing on Isis or trying to cross the street with their dogs or bikes. Lucky us. Skill and luck saved me.

The young lady driving the Ford could not be bothered to drive safely because she was too busy texting, the very thing that young Mr. Rahal is trying to warn us about. As the mother of two teenaged daughters, I do understand how self absorbed and utterly thoughtless young people can be. But I cannot believe that had I not been so lucky and so blessed with a talented driver of a husband that she would have remained so.

I would like to think that murdering me would have been a giant wakeup call for her. Maybe she would even stop texting while she’s driving. Maybe her parents would have sent flowers to my funeral. There wouldn’t have been a dry eye in the house.

Except, I don’t deserve an ending like that and she’s still a thoughtless little bitch who almost killed me. So, if you have a daughter who drives, insist that she not text and drive. And if the bitch is your daughter, she owes me a huge apology, because she didn’t even stop to see if I’m all right. And, I gotta tell you, I’m not all right.

I cannot shake the feeling that some of us might end up as human sacrifices. We’ll be killed, no matter where we are in our lives, because people cannot be bothered to pay attention to their driving. Our economy demands that anyone with a pulse be given a car and a license. Lucky us.

So, if you do nothing else this week, please pay attention to what Graham Rahal is saying. I didn’t give the campaign or him enough credit or attention. Shame on me. Good thing I’m so lucky. I get another chance. How many people won’t?

Copyright © 2007 by Lisa Davidson and Deep Throttle. All Rights Reserved.

 
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