I did not watch all seven minutes of the video. I think my soul blacked out around the 3-minute mark, and I've been suffering from post traumatic stress flashbacks ever since.
It's just too much. Much too much too much. I don't even want to tell you to watch it. Because it feels like a sucker punch. This video feels unfair in some way that I can't put my finger on, and if your life has been affected in any way by a car accident YOU SHOULD NOT WATCH THIS VIDEO. Just don't go there.
But I will say this. After watching three minutes of that video,
My cell phone stayed in my purse.
I did not futz with the radio.
Or speed up just a little to make the yellow light.
And I will no longer let my boys play with their toy cars. Or even utter the word CAR in a voice above a whisper, lest a Honda Civic come flying through their second story window to strike them both dead in their sleep.
Years ago, Larry and I had a conversation about driving, wherein we wondered if some day human beings would look back on the insane act of operating a motor vehicle and be all, "People used to do WHAT?"
What an enormous leap of faith we take every day. Getting in our cars. And walking around outside of our cars while other people are still in theirs. Then we throw cell phones and smart phones and DVD players (and crazy bloggers who video tape themselves driving though SURELY NO ONE IS THAT STUPID) into the mix, and it's just ... ridiculous. Driving the way we do is ridiculous.
Somehow we've convinced ourselves that because phones and foods and radios and children exist, there must be a safe way to text, talk, dial, eat, surf, dig through a diaper bag, break up a fight, search for a Kidz Bop CD, jot down a phone number, and just generally run our lives as usual while traveling 40, 50, 60, 70 miles per hour in a 4,000 lb hunk of steel. Yay for multi-tasking!
I've caught myself trying to justify and rationalize my choices. Well, yes, I talk to Larry on the phone while driving ... but I would never send him a text message. Sure I'll drink a cup of coffee, but I would never try to balance a Big Mac on my steering wheel AND drink a coke like that lady (does she not know that shit is POISON?) Yes, I'll whip out my Kindle while sitting at The World's Longest Red Light with 15 cars in front of me, but I wouldn't do that if there were zero cars in front of me (because I am a responsible line leader!). I would put on lip gloss while driving, but I'd never attempt mascara. I mean, sheesh. I'm vain, but I'm not THAT vain.
And therefore I'm immune to killing someone. Because I'm a fundamentally decent person who steers clear of high fructose corn syrup.
In writing this, it finally dawned on me what I don't like about the video. (Besides THE WHOLE HORRIFIC THING.) In the first three minutes, at least, it portrays the drivers to be careless, ugly people. Selfish, foolish, risk-takers with feathered haircuts, who needed to be taught a lesson. And life teaches them that lesson at the expense of someone innocent and good. Like a young girl, and her first love. A mother, and her son.
The video divides the world into careless drivers and innocent victims, when the truth is so much more frightening. Really, we're all one and the same.