Weekly Pet Peeve: Distracted Drivers

Content warning for traffic accident, gore, and trauma.

Last night, a friend and I had dinner at the Marion Hotel. It looks kind of scruffy on the outside, with the beer vendor out back, the parking lot full of pickup trucks, and the line of gleaming Harley-Davidsons out front all summer. But the sweet potato fries are fabulous, and the servers are great.

But my friend told me a shitty story. Her sister-in-law was killed last year by a distracted driver. The SIL was out cycling with a friend. A driver was weaving all over the road because she was texting. She struck my friend’s sister-in-law and killed her pretty much instantly. The friend cycling with her wrote a Victim Impact Statement for the court about how she saw her friend’s brains crushed out of her head onto the roadway, and her pretty blue eyes go lifeless, and blood everywhere, and how she now has flashbacks and nightmares in which she relives the event.  The victim’s daughters wrote impact statements, too, about how now their mom won’t ever know her first grandchild (one of the daughters is currently pregnant).

The sentence was handed down recently. The “distracted driver” got her driver’s license suspended for ninety days. That’s it. THAT’S IT. I put “distracted driver” in quotations because my preferred term is MURDERER. It’s not involuntary manslaughter or negligent homicide or whatever. It’s pure and simple murder.

If you text while driving, if you drink and drive, if you smoke pot and drive, if you are distracted or impaired in any way—especially ways that you KNOW are illegal!–then you are an asshole, a shitbag, a waste of fucking skin, and you deserve to have your license revoked forEVER, your car impounded, and your name made public.

I can hear the whining now: “But the punishment should fit the criiiiiime!!! It’s not faaaair to do that to someone just for having a couple of drinks / toking up / texting!!!”

You’re wrong. It’s entirely fair. If someone puts my life at risk for the sake of their own convenience or recreation, they deserve to be charged and convicted with Attempted Murder.

 


Edited 13 May 2016 to fix a typo.

 

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6 thoughts on “Weekly Pet Peeve: Distracted Drivers

  1. Rachel

    Thanks for saying this – I am a cyclist/commuter in a large metropolitan area, and I’ve been hit several times, once seriously, and I can’t count the number of times drivers have swerved into my lane due to texting. It is scary, and the deaths are so tragic. I am so sorry for your personal loss.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. nissetje Post author

      Thanks, Rachel. In this case, it was my friend’s sister-in-law and I’ve never met her. But my brother is an avid cyclist and I worry about him all the time. And another friend of mine was hit by a distracted driver two years ago and fractured her back in three places. She has made an almost full recovery, but how terrifying. Stay safe out there. I hope your serious accident hasn’t had lasting effects.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Rachel

        I can understand your worry – no, nothing lasting except mild anxiety that arises in certain situations, flashing back to the impact. But physically, I was lucky. Thanks 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply

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