Thursday, 7 January 2010

Reality Check

See, there's this kid called Jordan.

I've never met him, merely heard his name from a friend of his. I don't know how old he was, what music he liked, what he wanted to do with his life, if he loved dogs more than cats, or what his preferred drink was. And I never will know these things.

He died.

Wrote off a car on the freeway earlier in the week. Speeding, perhaps? I don't know. It didn't really hit me that someone's life actually ended until sever hours after I found out, while I was in the middle of serving someone at work.
When the accident happened, it was laughed off after it was established that he was conscious and okay.
Apparently not.

I am not the safest driver, I readily admit this, mainly because I am still working out the kinks of driving a manual transmission that I didn't learn on and before two months ago, could not have driven even if I wanted to. I also freely admit to flying at 160km/h down the freeway to go home at midnight, and 150km/h on the back roads into murray bridge. The fact I never got caught was a miracle. The fact I JUST escaped a speeding fine and loss of licence a week ago, purely because the other car in the line of the radar was speeding, was another one. I'm just lucky, I guess.
And yet.... it never even occurred to me, even with all the promotions on television, and the drivers ed lessons at school which left me nauseus and on the verge of tears.... what a car crash could actually do. And the policeman was right..... you don't realise until it actually happens to someone you know, or yourself. This is close enough.

After that near-miss with the radar I vowed never to speed again, and I havent ... yet.
I can't comprehend properly what his death has done to others. But it's like a web, stretching out with every relationship connection, to affect hundreds of people. I'm the third link in the chain and i'm sitting here breathless. Because that could have been Daniel.That could have been me. I go through there all the time.
And now I sit here thanking every star in the sky that this didn't happen to anyone in my family, or my close friends. I honestly don't know what I'd do if I lost any of them. I mean, sure, people move on... but....... fuck.

Is that all there is to this ridiculously fragile life?! One SINGLE error and you DIE?!?!?!?! Well shit, what chance is there that we're all going to be in an accident? I feel like....... like it doesn't matter what we do, we're all going to end up in the same place eventually.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.
But then I remember that it would put others through what hundreds of people go through every day.
look here..... in 2010.... These people are just a statistic.

Look at the numbers. And if not, look here, in my words:

in the last three years and one week (07 - 10) there have been a total of 343 people die from acidents.
Last year, 10 P-platers died.
19 people in MY age bracket (16-19)passed away.
119 people died.
1127 were seriously injured. This doesn't mean broken arms and bumps to the head. This means weeks, MONTHS, in hospital, in rehabilitation, many will NEVER regain full use of their body.

But .... Just a statistic.


Please, PLEASE do NOT let fatalities turn into just another number. There are families, friends, workmates all missing a person. People live with this pain, this absence, for the rest of their lives.

I cannot do anything to stop these deaths,
but I can make sure I drive safer,
that I don't speed, or drink/drug drive.

So can you.

R.I.P Jordan, and R.I.P the 114 people^ that will die on South Australian roads this year, my heart goes out to you, and your families and your friends that have to deal with the loss of someone they love.

^ stat from the sapolice website.

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