Native Writes: Accidents present a puzzle


There have been a number of bad vehicle accidents on our roads recently and the dinner table conversation surrounded the question: Why?

Sometimes, the cause is easily explainable, but often, it’s not.

An old cop once suggested “accident” indicates the incident was preventable.

He preferred “crash” when a collision took place and it didn’t seem preventable.

He didn’t appreciate the word, “alleged,” either. I received a phone call one morning castigating me for reporting that “So N So allegedly drove vehicle number one” in a bad fatal crash.

The guy was found behind the wheel, he said.

I still use the cover words, allegedly and reportedly, since I am not in possession of all the facts in a case, but know enough truths to make a story.

My heart breaks when children are involved. Their connection to a crash is usually not preventable. The accidents on our Valley highways involved many elements and one did include a child.

Everyone will eventually be okay.

Just how these crashes took place is a decision for State Patrol investigators.

I think I watch too much TV news, but the reporters on scene will eventually say one of the drivers was “texting” or talking on a cell phone or otherwise distracted.

That is so preventable. If the phone rings and it might be important, pull into the next available parking space and return the call.

I once had a traffic contact over my tendency to do this.

Cruising along, I heard my phone ring, so I pulled over and stopped. Flashing red, white and blue lights followed.

I hadn’t been speeding, had my seat belt fastened, had my shoes on, so what could be the problem.

The officer was young and pleasant. “I am concerned that you made such an abrupt stop,” He said.

I told him I had used my turn signal and flashed my brake lights.

He agreed. Suddenly, I realized it was all about my hair.

The cop locker room talk for old ladies is “Q-tips,” or at least it was when my old cop friend was living.

I resisted the temptation to tell him my hair was the best Marilyn Monroe imitation I could muster.

He was just so nice.

I told him I pulled over because I had a call and I never talk while I’m driving. His eyes went to a keypad that’s unfortunately on my dash. The question was implied.

“I never got it activated. I’m from the old school.”

He smiled. “Wish more drivers were from that old school.”

I said I am. Period.

“Most people aren’t,” he said, getting back into his car and driving off.

I may be “old school,” but I make every effort to drive safely. The people who call me regularly know I won’t answer right away and reluctantly text, certainly not behind the wheel of a vehicle.

An accident is defined as an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage or loss; any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause.

Accidents are not always bad. They can bring fortune, luck or love.

I’d like to see more of that.

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