Yesterday I saw the cutest young family in an original, restored VW bus. The mom and dad were probably in their late 20’s and they had an adorable little girl. I watched as the dad opened the back of the van to pull out a backpack and the mom unbuckled their little one from her seat. Dad put the child in the backpack and lifted it onto mom’s shoulders. They were affectionate, happy, and adorable.
But my heart was heavy watching them. I knew it was none of my business, but I wished I could offer them some advice. I didn’t – but when Russ walked over to me, I got a little weepy as I told him what I wished I could say.
The good news is that I have a blog, so although I couldn’t say this to them, I can write it here and maybe it will help someone else.
Following our accident, Russ did extensive research on vehicle safety. So many lives have been saved because of airbags alone. Technology can now help correct the direction of the car, reduce the risk of roll overs (which is a significant contributor to fatalities), adjust brakes, and more.
I know that even safe vehicles do not eliminate deaths. We were in a safe vehicle and our daughter still died. The position of our car, the position of the oncoming car, where Kalkidan was seated in our car, the road conditions, all of those details mattered. The people in the other car walked away from the accident with minor injuries because they hit us with the front of their car and their airbags deployed.
I also recognize that most of us can’t afford cars with the latest technology. We still have one old car that doesn’t have airbags. Following the accident we laid down the law that it can only be driven in town at low speeds, and it cannot be taken on highways. Our plan is to replace it as soon as we can.
I completely understand how great that VW bus is; it evokes happy nostalgia. It’s one of the ultimate hipster vehicles, but the problem is that it was designed and built in a time when vehicle safety technology was far less advanced.
I wish I could tell that young couple that it’s great to be hipster, it’s amazing to be fashionable and make statements about who you are. Let your clothes, music, home, hair, and even your glasses reflect your uniqueness.
But not your car.
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