Importance of safe driving and appreciating loved ones


Alyssa Stencavage, Asst. Life Editor

We have all been told since we were young children to look both ways before crossing the street, not to talk to strangers, and so on.  But, how often do we really think about the importance of safe driving?  Too many of us seem to take that for granted and forget about it.

Recently a close friend of mine since kindergarten, Rebecca McCallick, was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run car crash.  I always hear about things like this happening on the news, but never did I imagine that it would happen to someone I knew for such a long time.  I remember waking up the morning of the accident and checking Facebook, only to see the news about Becca’s passing.  Of course I was shocked and devastated; I did not want to believe it.  After talking to friends and others that knew her, I learned that she had been involved in a deadly hit-and-run crash.

Becca and I always stayed close, even through high school.  There was never a dull moment between us, and she was always there for me when I needed her.  I still cannot believe she is gone, but I am thankful to have known her and have had her in my life for such a long time.

Tragedies like this should remind us of the importance of safe driving.  Most importantly, never text or talk on your cell phone while driving.  Do not be distracted by friends, play loud music, or try to adjust the radio, as these can all be dangerous as well. Many people do not believe that bad things can happen to them, but you never know when you may be involved in an accident, and practicing safe driving can prevent that from happening.  Also, we all need to be cautious of those around us because even if we are doing the right thing, someone else may not be.  If everyone practiced these safe driving habits, there would be less accidents and fatalities.

Just as important is staying safe at night, especially considering all of the recent incidents near the Wilkes campus, where several students were robbed and attacked while walking back to their dorms.  For example, it is never a good idea to walk alone at night.  While these are important things to keep in mind, life is too short to take people for granted.  Always appreciate the people we have in our lives because as what happened to Becca demonstrates, we can lose anyone at any moment and at any time.  Saying “I love you” and letting others know that we care reminds them that they mean something to us.

Losing Becca taught me the extreme importance of being safe behind the wheel. Even though I always try to be a cautious driver, there is always room for improvement.  None of us should have to imagine being responsible for claiming the life of another individual nor would we want to lose our lives as result of someone else’s recklessness.  I think the biggest lesson I learned from losing Becca as a close friend is to appreciate the people I have in my life because you never know when you will see someone for the last time.  Each day is a privilege, not a promise. It’s as simple as that.

My heart goes out to Becca’s family, who I have also known for many years.  The tragedy of her death should serve as a lesson to us all, no matter how invincible we may think we are.

Life brings many sudden changes, and it never hurts to take the extra precaution to ensure your safety and the safety of others.