I watched a programme last night on BBC 3 ‘License to Kill’ . Sophie Morgan was 18 when she crashed her car at speed and was left paralysed. 10 years on she is exploring why road traffic collisions are the single biggest killer of young people in the UK.
Sophie spoke to people who have seen their lives transformed forever in just an instant and tries to grasp why a fifth of new drivers will crash within a year of passing their test. She also followed a number of cases from the scene of the accident through to eventual recovery, or resolution in the courts and had behind the scenes access to emergency services.
When I was 18 I thought that I was untouchable, none of the bad things in the world would happen to me, or any of my friends. I didn't care about people driving recklessly, I probably thought it was cool at some stage. This careless attitude is the main reason people speed in their cars/on their bikes. They feel they will not be the ones to ever crash their car, they think they are in control, they think its ok to drive double the limit because they can handle the car.
Well the statistics and evidence is out there. You can’t control your car at high speed, or take bends at high speed, or pay full attention when texting your mate, you will more than likely kill/seriously injure yourself or another.
How do we change this attitude, is it a matter of scaring the s##t out of people when they are learning to drive, or so we show them the devastation, or do we educate them more on how to handle themselves on the road, be able to deal with the unexpected. Are TV adverts enough? I really don’t know. After speaking to a friend of mine we came to the conclusion that we should have had some sort of talk in school about road safety, and namely on how not to be an idiot on the road.
I was so upset and angry after watching this programme last night. The reason it hit home so hard is because a very good friend of mine was killed in a car accident, I won’t go in to specifics, but lets just say that the night I got that call will forever be in my mind, and the sheer devastation that followed is something I will never be able to comprehend. When you lose someone in an accident you go through so many different states of mind from anger to sadness to confusion. You become aware of more things on the road than you have before because you never want to feel that way again in your life. You feel angry at anyone you see driving in a stupid way on the road, you finally understand how important seat belts are.
I can’t put in to words how passionate I am about this issue. If you are driving a car YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE for your own life and that of your passengers. You are the one that has to ensure they put their belt on, if they won’t then tell them to get out of your car. Simple. Don’t ever drink and drive, there is no excuse, if you do, I hope you get caught and banned off the road before you kill someone. Put your phone away, if you’re looking at your phone, you’re not looking at the road, its pretty straight forward, unless texting your friend is more important than your own life?
If you’re reading this and are still thinking ah sure I’ll fly around the roads, it wont happen to me… COP ON and SLOW DOWN…. It will happen…. You will hurt somebody, you will cause devastation to a family, and you will be responsible so I hope you have a big set of shoulders to carry that around on for the rest of your life….
Don’t let it get that far…. What is the big hurry after all?
Watch this programme on the BBC player it will make you realise how precious life is.