DEAR ABBY: I recently read in the paper another account of a young life lost in a car accident. I live within 30 miles of two universities, and I can't begin to tell you how many accidents of this kind we have each year. The young driver wasn't drinking or speeding. She was reaching down to pick up a CD she had dropped. She swerved off the road, overcorrected, and slammed into another vehicle. She and her passenger were killed instantly. The people in the car she struck were lucky; they were only badly bruised and shaken.
My husband is a tow truck driver who often has to gather up what is left after one of these senseless accidents. Our hearts break for the friends and families of these precious young people. Please, Abby, remind drivers of every age: Do not try to find something you have dropped, change the radio station, tape or CD, read, apply makeup, shave, or dial a cell phone with one hand while you are driving! It takes only a second or a glance away from the road to drift and lose control of your car. -- BECAUSE I CARE, COLFAX, WASH.
DEAR BECAUSE: Younger drivers are particularly at risk for this type of accident because they are more easily distracted and less experienced at regaining control of a vehicle -- but everyone should heed your warning.
The law in 49 states now mandates that everyone in an automobile wear seat belts, and that has saved many lives. However, nothing is as important as paying full attention to the task at hand -- and that means keeping both eyes on the road and both hands firmly on the wheel.