He didn't mean to do it but it is something that will haunt him the rest of his life. It was such a little thing at the time - it was just one second. He looked down at his cell phone and then he heard a thud. A mother will never hold her two little girls in her arms again. They were riding in a carrier behind her bike when he hit their mother in that one moment of time. He can look at his two children and know how tragic it was. He will always tell people about what had happened to him in hopes it would help prevent it from happening to them.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports that distracted driving contributed to 61 deaths and 198 serious injuries in 2014. Law enforcement officers conducted a study in April and the officers cited over 900 drivers for texting while driving in six days. People really should put their cell phones out of reach, so you aren't tempted to answer it while driving.
If you do receive a call on your cell phone while you driving down the road, believe it or not, the call will wait. Once you have stopped, your cell phone will reveal who called and you can return the call. If you must use your phone, pull over along the side of the road, stop, use your phone, and then carefully get back on the road again. No call or text message is worth another person, or your own life.
It is not just cell phones that cause accidents. How many times do we get distracted from our driving by something we shouldn't? I am guilty of eating an ice cream cone or taking a sip of water while driving down the road. It seems pretty innocent but how would I feel if something like this would happened to me? As there is more and more traffic on the roads and faster speeds are allowed, the easier it is to have an accident.
In addition to talking, or editing, on their cell phones, I've seen people eat, tune their radios, apply makeup, reach for something in the seat, on the floor, in their purse. How well I remember a friend who bragged that he read an entire novel on a trip to another state. Or there was the bread man who used the wide space in the front of his truck to read the newspaper on his daily route. They were lucky nothing happened, but it certainly could have.
Isn't it just as important to pay attention and drive as it is to click that seat belt? It is a something that we all need to start doing, even if it is just for a short distance! One of the first things we all learned in driver’s education was to put your seat belt on. The fancier the automobile, the more gadgets and gimmicks there seem to be to distract us as we drive.
Seatbelts do save lives; let’s hope it saves your life. It is also very important to obey the speed limits. They have been developed for a reason or we would not have them. The few minutes you save you can lose somewhere else and you gain nothing.
We also need to remember to adjust our speed in regards to the weather conditions, road conditions, as well as in regards to the amount of traffic there is on the road. It is especially important to remember that during this season of road construction, especially for those people who are traveling Interstate 35W this summer. We need to be especially careful, meeting the amount of traffic we are faced with. We need to keep two eyes on the road, two hands on the steering wheel and avoid all distractions, as there is currently only one lane of traffic in each direction.
There is a lot of power in that moving vehicle. Driving 55 mph translates to 90 feet per second so if you look away even just one second, you have driven at least 90 feet without seeing anything.
And one more thing. Before you get in your vehicle, take time to observe where you are parked and be aware of things around you, especially if there might be things that you will not be able to see when you look in your mirrors or out your windows. Once you get in your car and turn on the key, look again. Recently, newscasters reported that a one-year-old child was killed when someone was going to move their vehicle. Little ones can travel fast so it pays to look twice at least.
I recall a friend who let nobody eat, drink, smoke, etc. in his car. It wasn't just that he wanted his car clean at all times, he wanted to safe as well. Makes sense.
Some of our Star Eagle readers have commented they like to read about events such as family and school reunions, birthdays and anniversaries, and birth and wedding announcements. In order to read about these important things we need our faithful readers to pass along the information to us. Also if you have an idea for a story that you think would be of interest to our readers, please contact me.
Birthdays and anniversaries:
• Thursday, June 25th: Paul & Deb Wallace, Brad & Jannell Tufte, David & Lori Lembke, James & Mardelyn Thompson, Boyd & Jeanene Reese, Brady Nelson, Rachel Lerum, Michael Bell, Hugh O'Byrne, Brady Nelson Heimer, Marilyn Nelson and Boyd Reese
• Friday, June 26th: Michelle Marie Leeman, Marissa Ann Leeman, Brock Nelson, Tony Muri, Richard Holmes, Michelle Davidson, Tiffany Olson, Ray Jepson, Pennie Ladlie, Tristan & Michael Ingvaldson, Chuck & Ann Southworth and Tom & Wilma Arbogast
• Saturday, June 27th: Eugene & Phyllis Hagen, Carlyle & Judy Hagen, Jamie & Kim (Weckwerth) Farr, Stormi Hagen, Mary Groth, Karrie (Newgard) Moen, Marge Trandem, Michelle Vangen, Milton Nelson and Sandi Serdahl
• Sunday, June 28th: Warren & Bonnie Nelson, Jenny (Broskoff) & Chris Dutton, Danielle (Wagner) & LuVerne Zacharis, Amanda (Reese) Beavens, Shane Reese, Margaret Dobberstein, Zack Kromminga, Sara Hoyt, Sara Jensen and Noah Peterson
• Monday, June 29th: Nate VerHey, Courtney Haugen, Jacob Peterson, Brenda (Janka) Tschann, Jane (Jensen) Bratten, Berniece Whelan, Barb & Dale Mrotz, Brent & Valerie Christensen, Brent & Michelle Meiners, Wally & Marge Wobschall
• Tuesday, June 30th: Tammy & Jeff Busho, Susan (Schmidt) & Jon Anderson, Ann & Brent Wiersma, Nate & Kristine VerHey, Julie Vanden Heuvel Horiban, Robin Eder, Nathan Robertson, Steve Jensen, Barb Wright, Lorrie Kelly, Roger Shaunce and Makenzie Lynn Vreeman
• Wednesday, July 1st: Keralyn (Paulsen) Powers, Eugene Hagen, Mary Edwardson, Linda O'Neil, Joanna Ruth Vermedahl, Jill Hanson, Chris Ihrke, Jason Churchill, Marjorie Otterson, Deb Schimek, Rachel (Eaker) Lee, Gary Carlson, Tristan Bangert, Robert Christensen, Roger & Joyce Wayne, Heather (Krause) & Dion Quiram and Frank & Marilyn Cuden
• Thursday, July 2nd: John & Wendy Schultz, Delbert & Judy Karsjens, Leslie (Gatton) & David Hecker, Sidney Skroch, Christopher Matthew Wacek, Mary Ann Ewing, Stacy Shaunce, David Beck, Chad Ritz, Wilma Arbogast, Melissa Quaintance and Tony H. Seykora
• Friday, July 3rd: Danika Marie Jensen, Lorry Pelzl, Amy Storlie, Amy Walterman, Cynthia Nelson, Sara & Chris Ihrke, Rachel & Michael Schmidt, Phillip & Karen Briggs
With each passing year, grow stronger, grow wiser, and grow richer in spirit. May the year be filled with new discoveries.