Choosing to text and drive has serious consequences. The most serious of these consequences is undoubtedly when the choice to text and drive results in an auto accident that causes the injury or death of the driver or another human being.
Maybe a lawyer is simply driving from his or her home to the local grocery store in Farmington, Utah. Choosing to text and drive can turn that simple shopping trip in Farmington into a tragic auto accident. Injury and death caused by texting and driving can dramatically change the lives of drivers, victims and their loved ones. Accidental injury and death leaves a myriad of emotional struggles for all involved.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
After being involved in a traumatic event like an auto accident, it is not uncommon to suffer from a degree of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Emotional symptoms of PTSD include re-experiencing the traumatic event through flashbacks or nightmares, over-intense physical reactions like being jumpy and startling easily, hypervigilance like constantly re-checking to see if you locked the front door and increased emotional mood swings ranging from anxiety and fear to anger. PTSD can affect individuals directly involved in a texting and driving accident as well as witnesses, emergency workers and friends or family members.
Stages of Grief
The grieving process is often separated out into five stages — denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. These stages are not necessarily chronological, and the grieving process is unique to the individual. However, those touched in any way by an unexpected tragic event are prone to experience these stages in some form. A lawyer sitting at home in Farmington with his or her family who hears about a co-worker hitting a pedestrian while texting and driving will experience some of these stages, maybe in a matter of minutes. The family of the victim might experience these stages over a matter of years.
Those who survive a traumatic event are prone to experience survivor’s guilt. This is the feeling that they have done wrong by surviving when others did not. These feelings of guilt are heightened when the individual is responsible for creating the situation, like if that Farmington lawyer on the way to the grocery store chose to text while driving and caused an auto accident. Asking “Why?” or “What if?” fuels this feeling of guilt.
Prevent the Pain
By choosing not to text and drive, you can protect yourself, your loved ones and your fellow human from unnecessary emotional torment. The next time you find yourself driving to the grocery store like our hypothetical lawyer, choose to ignore the phone when it buzzes. Choose to be safe. Choose to prevent the pain.