Fight against distractions

Behind the wheel of an automobile is a dangerous place to have a wandering mind.

All of us are sometimes distracted by problems at work or family pressures that lead to inattention while driving. Then an accident or near-accident snaps one back to reality.

About two years ago, we were mindlessly driving home from work as we entered our neighborhood. Suddenly, a boy on a bicycle flashed out of a cul-de-sac right in front of our car. We slammed on our brakes and waited for the sickening crash we were certain was going to happen.

Luckily, though, the boy’s bike barely missed our bumper and the youngster jumped the curb on the opposite side of the road and crashed on a lawn. He had a cut lip and was visibly shaken.

He was crying and kept saying, “I’m sorry, mister.”

The boy’s mother ran down the cul-de-sac to comfort him, saying she had told him repeatedly to wear his helmet. We were thinking that if our car had gone another foot or so, a helmet wouldn’t have helped the boy.

The youngster was very lucky and so were we. We have been scolded by a neighbor in the past for driving too fast in the neighborhood — a warning that we believe we’ve taken to heart. Thank God we were not driving faster when that boy exited the cul-de-sac.

We want to take our near-miss to remind readers to drive very slowly though neighborhoods and work hard against distractions. Our children are sometimes going to do impetuous, reckless things and it is up to us adults to protect them by being cautious and alert.

With kids back in class, it’s also a good time to remember to keep it very slow around our schools.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.

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