After losing my 26-year-old son last October to an inattentive driver that ran him over just feet from the property where he lived, I am appalled to hear of the recent fatal “accident” involving vehicle vs. pedestrians in Santa Maria. And even more stomach turning is that some are putting blame on the pedestrians.
It is sad for the citizens who believe they have a right of way, even in an intersection. With the restraints on state budgets, investigations are kept minimal, prosecution and conviction of the inattentive driver is even less (unless the victim was affiliated with law enforcement—then heads will roll). As the operator of a motor vehicle, you are required to be in control of the direction of travel, as well as the rate of speed and surroundings. Failure to do so could result in collision involving injury or death to yourself, your passengers, or the public around you.
Studies have shown that 80 percent of all vehicular accidents are caused by inattentive driving, so unless it’s a life-threatening situation, whatever’s goin’ on in the back seat can wait until your first opportunity to legally pull over and deal with it. Same goes with that cell phone or GPS device. Pull over and rest if you feel fatigue. Face the reality that when you get behind that wheel, you are driving a deadly weapon. Don’t jeopardize your passengers or the public. Get to your destination safely.