What’s your Y?
I had a good friend tell me once that I had my Y. That is, why do we feel the way we do, why do we react the way we do. What is our purpose and why is it?
Halloween 1978, I-84 Westbound, in Oregon, two young men were traveling from the Dallas after doing a roofing job. The end of their day, they were headed back to family and loved ones who were busy preparing for a Halloween bash. They had left Portland early that morning and were ready to share an evening of fun. One was 18 years old, quiet young man, hard worker, he was driving. The other 23, guitar player, gentle soul, puppy dog eyes, dark and mysterious. He was to marry in December, about six weeks away.
Also Westbound was a flat bedder. He had to stop and check his strapping as all truckers know it’s a regulation. Unfortunately like many places the exits and shoulders are not trucker friendly and he did his best to pull off the shoulder, the metal rails to his right separating himself from the Columbia River.
It was about 3:30 in the afternoon when the two young men spotted the trucker up ahead and could not get into the left lane, traffic was headed to Portland for the Halloween Holiday, people dressed in strange costumes would fill the downtown streets later that night.
The right front corner of the pickup hit the rear corner of the trailer. The truck endoed, the 23 year old going out the front windshield, no, there was no seat belt on. As he went through, hit the right side of his head and almost severed completely his right arm off. The younger driver, after the truck came to a stop, ran back to find his friend dead.
That night, there was no celebration, as the family gathered and watched on television the accident, the photos of the young man that had died. Numb and so surrealistic, couldn’t be real…..but it was. The young bride to be was changed at that moment, a change not understood, but definitely a defining moment, one that changed her whole view on life. And over 30 years later it stuck….I was the bride to be…..and that’s why I truly care.
Safety is not something to be taken lightly….it takes one second to change many peoples lives forever. When I was behind the wheel, tired and having irresponsible drivers tick me off, road rage teetering, I always tried to remember….the other person is someone’s wife, husband, mother, father, child, and I had to be responsible with that 80,000 pound torpedo under my rear end. It was my responsibility to get enough rest, to eat right, to make mature choices. To not take my eyes off the road. To know what was around me at all times. To not over drive my ability. To shut er down when needed be…It was all on me….Don’t be a part of the problem. Drive responsibly….You don’t want to be a part of the statistics below….every single one of those numbers is or was a human being that were affected by choices….Make the right choice.
According to “Semi Truck Accidents”, NEW YORK, Feb. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ In 2010 over 500,000 Large Truck and Commercial Vehicles were involved in accidents; with over 100,000 people sustaining serious injuries, and over 5,000 people dying in these crashes. This was compared to only 3,200 deaths involving large trucks in 2009, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.