Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wake up call

This past weekend a 17 y/o student @ our high school was killed in a car accident. His passenger a 16 y/o is in critical condition with two broken legs and a punctured lung. It happened on Sunday afternoon and he lost control of the car on a back road and hit another car head on killing a young mother of 4- her husband was driving and sustained serious injuries as well. They do not believe there was any drinking, or drug use involved. It was simply an accident.

This has really hit my son because he knows both boys involved in the accident. He kept saying... it's surreal because it never happens to someone you know.

We actually drove on that road Sunday morning on our way to church, road conditions were not bad and the road was for the most part dry. So I assume that the young driver was driving too fast. The police said that the teenager lost control and went into the other cars lane, unfortunately due to the snow banks on either side of the road there was no where for the cars to go.

The kids here today @ school seem somewhat subdued- I believe this has been a wake up call for many of them.

My heart goes out to the families of all involved. You can't help but think, what if that had been my kid?  I talked with JJ about it because he gets frustrated with us critiquing his driving. (he has his learners permit) We actually had to tell him to slow down on that road that morning. While he drives I try and offer him input not only to what he is doing right/wrong but more importantly why I am telling him this. Just that morning I told him he needed to slow down because this particular road is a windy road with many curves and blind spots. I know he thought I was nagging, but after hearing about this accident and losing a friend I think he "gets it" a little better.

Jeff and I talked about it and he believes part of the problem is that many kids play computer/video games and "drive" in the games so they think that makes them a "better" driver when they actually get behind the wheel. I always have told my kids that no matter how careful they are, they need to drive defensively because maybe the "other" guy is not paying as close attention to the road as they are. It only takes an instant to change life forever. There are no do overs like a video game...


  1. I am truly sorry for your son's loss. I know how much this hurts and how shocking it is - I hope that the one in the hospital is okay and the kids are fine.

    Kids have been dying in car accidents while in High School for eons - I graduated in 1984 and this past week our HS had a memorial up on Facebook for a fellow classmate that died in a car accident our senior year. So I don't know if the video game analogy plays a big part [My brother and sister also lost classmates earlier than me in HS] And none of these were drinking/driving accidents - just driver inexperience.

    Our 3 older kids wasted no time getting their licenses [two boys -eek] but our 17 year old doesn't even want her learner's permit - she says there are too many crazies on the road - I don't blame her.

  2. That is so sad. It definitely hits when it is so close to you like that. Sorry for your son's loss.

  3. During adverse conditions it will often be noticed that it is the rear of a vehicle that loses traction first.
    What the average person and some experts are not aware of is that there can be as high as 950 pounds or more weight on the front axle of their vehicle than the back. So a car that feels like a limousine on the front holds like a golf cart on the back
    A 3000lb car with a weight ratio of 65% front weight and 35% rear weight will weigh 1950lb on the front and 1050 on the rear. After you use 10 gallon of fuel from the rear tank one of the front wheels has as much traction as both rear combined.
    If you analyze single vehicle accidents you will find most of them had better tires on the front than the back or a very large weight difference. In fact the worst balanced cars have 4 times as many fatalities as cars designed with better balance. How are you going to tell how fast is too fast under these conditions when it is possible for a balanced car to handle fine on a slippery surface at 50 mph and an unbalanced car to lose control at 20 mph and both to feel the same to the drivers.
    There are some good videos on the Internet showing how important the rear tires of a vehicle are. Also the Society of Automotive Engineers paper 2002-01-0553 shows any decrease of tread depth from new of the rear tires can contribute to an accident.

  4. This is very sad. My daughter is 17 and just started driving. And sad as it is, I need to have her read this post. I am also a mother of 4. My prayers go out to all the families. :(