Dear frum teenage girl, driving a minivan through the intersection of Bainbridge and Staunton at 1:15pm today,I know that life as a teenager is difficult (what teenager’s life isn’t?), and I know that you have a lot on your mind. But when we were stopped at the stop sign today on Bainbridge and you were driving on Staunton, you were too busy to see our car.
You didn’t see our car because you were texting. I saw it with my own eyes from the passenger seat of our minivan, already stopped at the corner. Your head was down, your fingers fast at work. You coasted to a kind-of stop, all the while never looking up.
And you know what? You were still texting as you took your foot off the brake and put it on the gas, driving straight through the intersection. STILL TEXTING! STILL NOT LOOKING!
If you had looked up, you would have seen us.
If you had looked up, you would have known that we had the right of way.
If we had intended to go straight, and my husband wasn’t a careful driver, you would have
plowed right into us (ch”v).
If you did hit us, you know what you would have hit? My 10 month old baby was snug in his car seat on the side of the car facing yours. He’s so little. He’s so precious. He was in your direct line of impact.
You know what else you would have hit? Me. I was sitting in the passenger seat, directly opposite you. I’m the only breadwinner currently for my family. Without my salary, lo aleinu, we wouldn’t have enough money to pay our bills. I’m the mother to my children who are so young and need their mother so much. We literally cannot afford for anything to happen to me.
And what about my two year old daughter? In the other bucket seat next to my baby. Surely she would have felt your negligence.
And my husband – he would have been tormented by guilt for the rest of his life, always thinking if he could have done something different to prevent the accident you caused from occurring.
How could you think that whatever you were texting – to whoever was receiving the text – could be more important than the lives and wellbeing of an entire family?? I know – you didn’t think. You didn’t think because you’re a teenager and that’s not what teenagers do well.
But you should think. You should think of the danger you are putting yourself and everyone around you in: your neighbors, friends, and family. How could you have so little regard for Klal Yisroel and human life in general?? At the very least, you should think of how causing a fatal crash (ch”v) could put you in jail for a long time, if not forever.
If I had had the presence of mind at that moment at 1:15pm, I would have told my husband to honk the horn until you pulled over so I could tell you all this in person. But I was too shocked to do anything and you had already driven on…still texting, still not looking up at the road and the cars around you.
Teenage girl, I don’t know who you are, but I hope you read this and start to think about how texting and driving just don’t mix. I hope you never do it again.
Today you got lucky. Today, H-shem was watching over all of us. Tomorrow, however, might be a different story, ch”v. I can only daven for you that your terrible judgment never catches up with you.
Signed with anger, disappointment, shock and love,
Your neighbor, her husband, their two year old daughter and 10 month old son
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