Dear Driver who was on his phone,
I was inspired to write this post as we entered New Year’s Eve; a time when unfortunately some people make poor judgments about driving under the influence of drink/drugs, or are just on their phone whilst driving.
When I was just over 6 months pregnant, you drove into my car at a staggering 50mph whilst I was sat stationary in traffic. At first you yelled at me, telling me it was somehow my fault; once the police arrived and you realised I was pregnant, you admitted to it being your fault.
I am incredibly thankful that we all walked away from this situation with little more than a few aches and pains. Your car was in ruins, and mine wasn’t much better; it was in fact in the garage for weeks being completely rebuilt.
I was not angry that you hit my car; everybody is human and accidents happen. What I was angry about was that you were on your phone; a conscious decision that could have ended in tragedy. Your mind was elsewhere; whilst you were driving a machine that has the ability to kill others when not driven safely.
That day I was on my way to work, whilst my husband took our eldest (who was 19 months at the time) to nursery before he headed off to work too. I never made it into work that day; my husband and daughter rushed to the scene of the accident to see if mummy was OK and if our unborn child was safe. That day, my husband could have lost his wife; my daughter could have lost her mother; we could have lost our unborn child.
What you don’t know, is that we had previously lost pregnancies; this baby was straight after a loss, several months into pregnancy. For the final months of pregnancy and initially beyond, I worried endlessly about the health of our baby; Would be she OK? Was there any lasting damage? Would this impact her in the future? I am pleased to report she was very well and healthy (we had endless complications until the birth but it is impossible to say if they had any relation to the accident).
The reason I am writing to you, is to ask you to reconsider being on your phone whilst driving; our story is fortunately not one of great loss, I feel very blessed to have walked away unharmed. A text message, WhatsApp, sports score, email etc is not worth your life or somebody else’s. Those messages, emails, scores will all still be accessible at the end of your journey. If they are truly that urgent, find a safe place to stop.
So I ask you; whatever you were looking at on your phone, was it more important than an unborn child? A pregnant woman? Or your own life?
All it takes is a glance at the wrong time for a tragedy to occur. I hope this friendly reminder serves you well.
To anyone thinking of driving after drinking tonight; remember that this action could end lives. If it is your own life lost; think about what this does to your family and friends. If it is somebody else’s life; know that you have to live with this, it can’t be undone. They have families too, and you would be the cause of their pain and grief.
You may choose to make the poor decision to drive in these circumstances; thinking you will be fine because it is a short journey, or you didn’t have that much to drink; but other drivers did not choose to be part of the result. Inside each car on the road could be a heavily pregnant woman, elderly person, child, baby, people with disabilities; people who might not fair well in an accident.
Tonight, enjoy yourself; have an incredible time. But please, do not get behind the wheel if you have been drinking. There are taxis, Ubers, buses, trains, family and friends; there is no reason to drink and drive.
I ask you one final question; is your life and other’s that unimportant that you would risk it all?
Have a fantastic time celebrating the beginning of a new year and decade,
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