MAGAZINES | Sunwheels

A Reckless Driver’s Confession

When a loved one is taken away from you suddenly and in tragic, horrific circumstances, it can cause nightmares for a long period. Many people in our beloved country are
28 Feb 2015 12:06
A Reckless Driver’s Confession
Deepak, pictured here in his office.

When a loved one is taken away from you suddenly and in tragic, horrific circumstances, it can cause nightmares for a long period. Many people in our beloved country are going through painful times because they lost their loved ones in road accidents that could have been prevented.

Today we bring you the story of a man whose recklessness led to his father’s death in a road accident and how this tragedy ripped his family apart.

Deepak’s Story

Deepak (name has been changed to protect his identity) and his parents set off on a three-hour journey to Suva to apply for a visa for the couple to visit their daughter  in the United States of America, who was preparing to give birth to her first child.

Deepak’s parents were looking forward to their first ever trip abroad to welcome their grandchild into the world. Deepak was driving the vehicle, his father sat in the front passenger seat while his mother sat in the rear seat.

The couple was engrossed in a conversation regarding a suitable name for the child and they failed to notice that Deepak was speeding on the highway.

Deepak, who was a manager in a multi-national company at that time, loved to drive fast and disliked road rules.

“I was a spoiled brat,” admits Deepak.

“My parents never said anything to me even if I was doing something wrong. I loved cars and I loved to show off while driving. My attitude was like who cared about road rules. I loved to break rules … and the best part was that I was able to get away with it every single time.”

Deepak was not so lucky that morning. He was unable to negotiate a sharp bend, which caused the vehicle to veer off the road, flip over and tumble down a slope.

“I loved to break rules …

and the best part was

that I was able

to get away with it

every single time.”

His mother sustained bodily injuries. Deepak broke his legs. His father never made it.

“I can’t forget the way dad looked at me seconds before he closed his eyes forever,” says Deepak.

“He looked confused … it seemed as if he wanted to say something… I called out to him but he never answered.”

“I can’t forget the way dad

looked at me seconds

before he closed his

eyes forever,”

Deepak spent a couple of years behind bars. During this period, his family, friends and colleagues cut off all ties with him. His company terminated his employment. No one visited him while he was in prison. No one was there to take him home the day he got out of prison.

“I hate myself,” says Deepak.

“Dad’s final moments repeat in loop in my mind every day. I killed my dad … and I can never forgive myself.”

Deepak lived off his savings for a few years and then managed to secure a job in a small firm where he is still employed. He lives alone and does not have any friends.

The 38-year-old is concerned at the increasing number of traffic offences and road accidents and he believes that road users need to change their attitude towards road safety.

“When I see young drivers driving recklessly on the road or showing off on social media, I see myself in them,” says Deepak.

“I want to tell them look at what I did to my father, my family and our lives. I killed my father because I had a bad attitude just like them. In my heart, I knew that I was a dangerous driver and that my behaviour on the road was wrong but I refused to change my attitude. It angers me to see that so many parents prefer to ignore the fact that their children have attitude problems and that they are bad drivers. Parents play a huge role in their children’s lives, and things can change if they speak up.”

“In my heart, I knew that I was a

dangerous driver and that my behavior

on the road was wrong but I

refused to change my attitude”

Deepak is pleading with everyone to become responsible road users.

“Please Fijians, do the right thing … the rules are there to keep us safe … please follow the rules and respect all road users,” says Deepak.

Safe Driving Strategies

Drivers, here are some important safe driving strategies taken from aarp.org for you to know about:

– Take good care of your vehicle: Maintain your vehicle in good working condition, regularly checking the tires (condition and inflation), brakes and suspension. Clean all windows inside and out.

– Drive when you are emotionally and physically fit to do so: Monitor your emotions, medications and alcohol use. Certain drugs, combinations of drugs or even small amounts of alcohol can impair the skills you need to drive safely. Impaired driving has been linked to increases in crash risk.

– Pay attention

– Use all the safety equipment you can, including proper restraints for the driver and all passengers:

– Do not drive faster than the posted speed limits; drive slower when conditions dictate: Driving at a speed higher than what is safe for various conditions leaves you with less reaction time and braking distance than you may need to avoid a crash. Speeding also increases the risk of serious injury in a crash.

– Observe and obey all traffic laws: Just as you expect other drivers to follow the rules, they expect you to do so too. Another driver may not be able to stop in time for you if you fail to observe and obey traffic regulations, signs and signals.

– Be ready to react to unexpected situations: Rear end collisions are very common at intersections. Avoid them by maintaining a safe following distance.

Feedback: media@lta.com.fj



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