We all know that we shouldn’t be texting and driving — and, hey, now it’s even more illegal in Maryland! — but many of us do it anyway. Maybe this story will be the thing that inspires you to quit once and for all.
Baltimorean Susan Yum was driving north on 83 with her husband and two children a few days after Christmas in 2011, when they were struck from behind by an SUV going 62 mph. I’ll let her tell the next part:
“After getting over the initial shock, I looked to the back seat and see my five-year old son’s head was pushed up against the driver side headrest, his eyes were closed and there was a trickle of blood down the side of his head. My then nine-year old daughter, Alex, asked ‘What happened?’
My husband rushed out the driver-side door yelling for help. My door was jammed, so I couldn’t get out of the car. Next thing I know, other people got the door open and got my children out of the car. Another driver, who later I discovered was a doctor, told me that my daughter’s femur was broken and that I needed to tell her to keep still. She was crying out and trying to move because she was in so much pain.
At the hospital, I walked by a gurney with a pool of blood on the bottom and I wondered if it’s my son’s. Hospital officials came to get me after Alex was whisked away by a team of doctors and nurses. They told me it didn’t look good and that I should go to the trauma room where he was. I was so terrified that I was tempted to refuse to go with them, and then when I realized that if he was going to die, I could not let my son die among only strangers. When I entered the room, I noticed that Jake’s feet were bare and all I could focus on were his little toes, and doctors were working on him so furiously. Then one of the doctors said the dreaded words that no mother wants to hear. He said, ‘Mom, we have to call it.'”
Yum later learned that the SUV driver who caused the accident hadn’t even touched his brakes before he smashed into their vehicle–he was on his phone, and somehow missed 500 yards of stopped traffic. His ultimate punishment? A $1,000 fine. Yum is working to make cell phone distracted driving considered a legally reckless act, which would up the possible punishments for people who cause accidents like this. Don’t let that be you — put down your cell phone when you’re driving this holiday weekend. Whatever it is, it can wait.
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