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Hazards of Drunk Driving

On February 26, 1999, I was struck from behind by another pick-up truck. The driver of that vehicle had been drinking, and was driving at speeds well over the limit of 55 mph. I was going barely 20 mph, having just turned a corner. I never had a chance to avoid the ensuing collision. Although not noticeable from these photos, my pickup was flipped onto its roof and slid 175 feet AFTER the impact.

There are two lessons here. The first is obvious. Drinking and driving don't mix. This could easily have resulted in a death or severe injury. I was lucky - the next person might not be. So, please. DO NOT get behind the wheel if you've been drinking. Call someone or arrange other transportation. The life you save might be that of an innocent bystander.

The other lesson is the neccesity of seatbelts. I basically walked away with minor injuries - bumps to my head, bruised shoulders and legs, and a stiff neck. I was lucky - because I was wearing my seatbelt. Had I not been, the force of the impact could easily have thrown me through the windshield or across the cab, and the injuries would have been far more severe, or even fatal. One seatbelt - less than a second to click - made a BIG difference.

View #1

Front driver's side: The damage doesn't look bad from this angle. The cab is pretty much intact, but the bed of the truck is noticeably damaged.

View #2

Rear driver's side: The damage is slightly more noticeable from the rear. This angle still does not encompass the most profound view of the damage.

View #3

Front passenger's side: The damage is more noticeable, but still not fully revealed here.

View #4

Rear passenger's side: The damage is fully revealed from this angle, because the other vehicle struck on the right side. The bed is folded like an accordion and driven into the cab a bit.

I can't begin to describe how frightening this experience was. It happened so fast that I didn't know what was happening. I knew only that I was being tossed around and that everything had gone absolutely crazy. One moment, I'm on my way to work, the next I'm crawling from my truck wondering what had happened. Less than ten seconds. That was all the time it took to change everything. As I said above, I never had a chance to avoid this collision.

Ten seconds might have been all it took to take a life - or more than one life. Is that really worth the few drinks?

So, please, think about what you're doing. No matter what you might think, if you have been drinking alcoholic beverages, your judgment and driving abilities ARE impaired. This COULD be the result when you tell yourself, "I can drive."

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