August 8, 2010

Crunching Metal

Since I've been back in LA I've driven past a staggering number of car accidents. Almost daily as I drive the many freeways and busy streets I see people pulled over to the sides with dented fenders exchanging information. I even got love tapped by a car behind me while stopped at a red light. I didn't even realize what had happened until my dad got out of the car to check for damage. There was none and so we went on our merry way. The lil bump caught me so off guard, I couldn't stop laughing! It was the first time I had even been rear-ended!
It makes me wonder though, of all these accidents, how many are caused by distracted drivers? I admit I have texted in my car before, usually while stopped at lights, but dangerous is that?! Especially in a city like LA where people are constantly cutting you off, stopping quickly and driving like maniacs. Taking yours eyes away for a second is just crazy! I mean it's awful enough I have my ipod plugged into my car. I'd venture to say scrolling for music while driving is no less of an offense than texting. Staring at a small screen when we should be staring at the road, no matter what it is, is just a bad idea.

Of all these accidents I've driven past only one happened right in front of me. Yesterday after driving all the way up to Norcal I was stopped at a red light mildly dazing off into space when suddenly two cars collided in the intersection in front of me. For me there are few sounds I hate more than the crunching of car metal in an accident. A woman had decided to go for a left turn at the very end of her yellow light which then turned red, and a man whose light had turned green ran right into her. I could literally feel my heart pounding, my mouth was wide open. I was wondering if I should get out and help. The woman pulled her severely dented car over while the man got out of his car and started cursing and yelling at her. She got out, her airbag had opened and she was bleeding from either her mouth or nose. She seemed completely terrified. The man continued to berate her, yelling things like "Thanks a lot! You've just screwed my whole f***ing family! This is our only transportation!" I'm not sure whose fault the accident was, perhaps a combination of both. Although she maybe shouldn't have gone through the yellow, shouldn't he have seen that she had not yet cleared the intersection? The whole scene really made me realize how lucky I am. Both people involved were probably in for a whole ordeal regarding money, insurance, and maybe having to be without a car for a while. Right now, especially in areas like Richmond where I was, money and work doesn't always come easy. There's a lot of people out there suffering, who can't afford accidents or rising insurance costs.

I wish there was something I could be doing. As I was unpacking my new apartment I realized how much stuff I have. But why?! I mean sure, I need lots of dance shoes and many of my clothes are hand-me-downs from friends. I don't spend insane amounts of money on clothes or anything like that. But what about those people who have nothing? All the homeless people or the people who can't afford food. I mean I'm sitting in my new apartment trying to organize my apparent plethora of stuff and sheet music and again it hit me how fortunate I am to have everything I do. All I can do is thank this universe for blessing me with such gifts.

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