Monday, April 19, 2004

Don't Text While Driving

Don't text while driving. Nokia advertised about it extensively. My
parents have been reminding me about it for years. I never listened.
Well huge mistake, because I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I'm
writing this hoping that you would learn from my lesson and not have to
go through this, or to cause others to go through this.

Texting, or even talking on the phone, while driving, involves
multi-tasking. Engaging in it means that the driver is overconfident in
his/her reflexes. I happened to be guilty of it because I always
thought that if I didn't read my text messages ASAP, I would miss out on
something important. But the question is what if that important
something shocked me to the point of causing me to lose control of the
wheel? Worse, what if my reaction caused me to endanger the lives of my
passengers and those of the other vehicles around me? :-(

Last Saturday night I was driving while texting again. I usually did
this in front of a red light or during slow moving traffic only. I used
to be able to get away with it, no doubt with the help of guardian
angels, but for some particular reason/s, on that Saturday I was unable
to see that the car in front of me stopped already. I collided with
that car. I had four passengers with me; one of them hurt her finger as
she used her hand to shield her from the impact. Inside the other car
was a whole family, including a baby. Just thinking about how much
worse I could have hurt the people around me because of carelessness and
stupidity (and pride - thinking I was too important not to miss text
messages) causes me anguish right now. Everybody has the right to
berate me now because of that - my passengers, the other family that I
affected, my parents, and yes God. If only I could undo what happened,
I would. My excuse would be that I was shocked after I read about a
text message involving an emergency in our family. My mother, however,
later said that I shouldn't read text messages while driving because I
would be unable to help anyone anyway while behind the wheel. We should
always listen to our mothers, that's another lesson learned the hard

My friend who hurt her finger is a lawyer, thank God she hasn't thought
of suing me yet. The family who owned the Nissan I collided with is
very gracious and understanding. I cannot thank God enough for their
graciousness. I deserved a sermon yet they showed me kindness and
compassion, after recovering from their initial shock. Other people
would not have treated me so nicely. They have made me believe in
goodness in people, even among strangers. They own The Getaway Spa
located at The Courtyard (#26 Esguerra St. formerly Bohol, South
Triangle, QC). If any of you live or work near the area, please
patronize their business. Although my insurance would cover both our
expenses, I think I would never be able to repay their kindness.

There is a lot of work to be done - had to get a leave from work today
to fix the documents for insurance. I have to get the estimates for
expenses. I have to look for a lawyer to notarize my affidavit on the
circumstances. You can all imagine the hassle. I thank God repeatedly
that no one was seriously hurt, but I know that there's a huge lesson
for me here. I hope this serves as an example to all of you my friends
who still text or use their phones while driving. Nothing is more
important than the lives entrusted to you on the road. God would take
care of whatever emergency it is that might need your attention while
you're on the road. I realized I cannot play God. I cannot do two
things at the same time. Wherever you are, be there.

This is my testimony against multi-tasking while driving.

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