Today I attended a Defensive Driving course provided by the National Traffic Safety Institute. Initially I did this to help myself from getting any points added to my record and to avoid higher insurance rates. However, the instructor was very good at presenting his material to the class. He also had shared a few disturbing stories.

The Instructor mentioned how after he left the service to be closer with his family, he tried to search for a career with the same team like structure as he had with his unit in the service. He first worked as a fire fighter and then moved on to becoming a police officer. In that time he figured he seen over 500 dead bodies, from which most were caused by auto accidents. At one point he could not take it anymore and began teaching defensive driving courses. He also mentioned of the many auto accident fatalities he witnessed, eight times he had to be the one to notify the family. Six of the eight times, it was a teenager who had died in the car accident. He went on to tell a story about one night when he responded to an accident where a young high school kid lost his life behind the wheel. The boy was dead on the scene. The Instructor, a police officer at the time, was the one who had to go let the boy’s parents know about what had happened. When he stepped to the kid’s house his mother was the first to answer the door. He began by mentioning he had something to tell her and if he could come in. At this time a rather large man came to the door and said, “Whatever you have to say, you can say from right there…” He then replied, please let me in; it’s very important and we should probably talk inside. At this time the mother had already caught on to what may have happened and began crying. The Father, wondering what the problem is decided to invite him in. As he entered he went on to let them know what had happened with their son. The Father instantly blew snot onto his shirt crying while the mother began losing control while peeing her pants.

It’s scary to know that over 40,000 people within the United States were killed in an auto accident. Over 300,000 either died or were seriously injured. Also, over 5000 teenagers die each year from car crashes. Where do they learn how to drive? From us; every time we, as parents, take the speed 10 miles over or even 5, it’s like telling your children speeding is acceptable. The example you provide will go on for several years. When it is their turn to begin driving, they already have it wired in their brain that driving the way you have is okay. If you go to work and show your coworkers the CD player you stole from Walmart they’ll probably look at you. However, Society has made it socially acceptable to speed. If you go to work and say, “I got a ticket.” your coworkers may tease but rarely will look down on you even though speeding is the primary cause of death and serious injury to of over 300,000 each year. Let’s not forget the hurt a family goes through when a tragedy occurs such as an accident related fatality or a car crash causing a loved one to become a Paraplegic.

More and more people are running red lights, speeding and driving aggressively. I hope this article will serve as a way to maybe open the eyes of at least a few. Hearing the Instructor tell his story sure opened mine. I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season this year.

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