This is not from a chain mail or another website. This happened to me, Bill, this morning.
On my way to work this morning, I found myself adversely impacted by the idiocy of another driver.
Now, while we all think everybody else is an idiot, everyone needs to look closer to home. As in, look in the mirror and evaluate is there an idiot driving your car.
The most dangerous thing on the road right now fits into the palm of your hand, and many people have it located in their palm when on the road. That item is a cell phone.
I was in the right lane, abiding by the speed limit of 40MPH. A person driving a bright yellow pickup with tinted windows was driving in the left lane. The weather was lousy. Raining and overcast.
The driver in the left lane had their cell phone up above steering wheel height. Apparently texting or looking for the correct number to dial. More concerned with their own little world than the one they were driving in, they started merging right. They did not use their blinkers and they definitely did not look in their mirrors before starting the merge.
Unlike the car my wife drives, mine does not have Traction Control nor a pristine ABS system. I hit the horn and started stepping (not slamming) the brakes. In the wet conditions though, all four tires locked up putting me into a 40MPH skid with traffic ahead, beside, and behind me. The skid carried me into the curb. Had I not taken an evasive driving course in the military, I have to wonder if I would have lost control of the vehicle and gone into a spin. I was able to maintain control and limp it into the parking of the Madison County Human Resources building.
The damage to my vehicle is both rims on the right-side are bent and need to be replaced. Luckily, I do not use my car as a status symbol, so my rims are stock steel rims. Both tires will need to be replaced. Additionally, my steering is now out almost 10 degrees left.
The driver of the pickup continued their merge even after hearing my horn. I did not get their license plate number. I was a bit more intent on maintaining control of my car as to not spin out in front of oncoming traffic.
No use calling my insurance company. The rims, tires, and front end alignment will probably run the same amount as my deductable.
So, some idiot just cost me about $500 for the sake of a text message or a phone call.
For the sake of other drivers:
1) Unless you have a completely hands free, voice activated cell phone system, leave the blasted thing alone while you are driving. Don't even look at it to see who is calling. Wait until you are at a stop light or stop sign.
2) There are mirrors and blinkers on your vehicle for a reason. Use them!
3) Don't stare at the radio or GPS in traffic. If you don't like the song that's on, turn the radio off instead of fiddling with it while looking at the display. Program your GPS in a parking lot or, better yet, before you even leave.
4) Forget about your little world when driving in the big world. Not paying attention to the big world can bring an abrupt end to your's or someone else's little world.
5) Wait until you are at your destination to take the lid off of that scalding hot cup of coffee or open the wrapper on that triple-decker hamburger.
I don't really care about your little world. I care about mine. I don't want your inability to pay attention to the big world to cause my little world financial strain or to come to an end.
Please pass this along to those you know. Maybe someone who is an idiot will realize they're being an idiot and maybe, just maybe, stop being an idiot.