Commuter Crossing: Lessons learned the hard way

CommuterCrossing-nameImagine the perfect summer morning — not too cool and not too hot. It is the kind of morning where you want to drive with the windows down. Now, mix that with somebody who has entomophobia, the fear of insects. The result: an overturned car.

On June 30, I learned the hard way that you should just let a small spider crawl on you. I had just left my house, on my way to work, when I felt something on my left ankle. I reached to brush it off really quickly, but in the few seconds that my eyes left the road, my car traveled over the curb and into a tree. The next thing I knew, I was hanging upside down from my seat belt with a numb face and bloody hand.

After spending all day in the hospital, having glass removed from my hand, and laying still for dozens of X-rays and CT scans, the emergency room discharged me with a ruptured finger tendon. My trusty Nissan Sentra, on the other hand, did not fare as well. A tow truck took my totaled car to the junkyard.

A commuter student without a car finds herself useless and dependent on others. I was stuck at home for one week and relied on others for a week and a half. It is difficult because you are at the mercy of others. Straight to work and back. Straight to school and back. There is no room for fun or other extracurricular activities. Bills are also more difficult to pay when you miss work.

I learned a very important and painful lesson that summer morning: do not take your eyes off of the road. According to, in 2011, 3,331 people were killed and 387,000 people were injured in distracted driver accidents. This is an increase from 3,267 deaths in 2010. Whether it’s bugs, cellphones or even the car radio, any action that diverts your eyes, hands or mind off of the road is considered a distraction. Help keep yourselves and others safe by always maintaining your focus.

For comments/questions about this story, email or tweet @thewhitonline.


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