By Chuck Mai, AAA
I have a sort of fascination with death. Well, not death so much, more with the many ways people find to accidentally die.
When we visited the Grand Canyon, I picked up a book that described all the ways people have lost their lives at and in the canyon. Hundreds of them. Oh sure, while taking pictures and venturing just a wee bit too close to the edge – but also while hiking and getting lost or running out of water.
I guess my fascination with death is born of an even stronger interest: living. I know we can’t cheat the grim reaper forever but there are lessons to be learned by finding out how people accidentally put an end to their own lives. Like the guy who was doing doughnuts out in a field in his pickup and hit a patch of soft sand and the truck flipped. Guy was in his 40s. A friend with him in the truck at the time wasn’t injured.
There are so many things out there just waiting to get us – things over which we have no control – such as genetic disorders, disease, random crime, war, the list goes on. But car crashes are things we can, in large measure, prevent.
Of course, when it comes to motor vehicle accidents, they’re not really accidents at all. My dictionary says an accident is “something that happens by chance,” like there was nothing anybody could do to stop it. Don’t buy into that philosophy. There is plenty we all can do to reduce our risk on the road:
1. Limit distractions. Throw the cell phone in the back seat and ignore it.
2. Drive refreshed and sober. Get plenty of rest before driving long distances.
3. Wear your seat belt and make sure all your passengers are buckled up. For children, this means child car seats or booster seats for youngsters up to 4 feet, 9 inches in height.