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All drivers are steering a weapon
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In the blink of an eye, a life of anyone can be snuffed out by an automobile.

Such was the case last week when Danielle Tarancon died in a tragic crash at Darwin Avenue and Fowler Road. There she was crossing the road on foot at a stop sign, minding her own business, when a driver - for whatever reason - crashed into her and others.

Monday brought us yet another tragedy as two local teens died when the stolen Honda they were riding in was being driven recklessly and smashed into a tree at River and Moffet roads.

Many today make a big fuss about guns being a threat to public safety but I have long held that it is driver error and carelessness behind the wheel of an automobile that is a much bigger threat to life and limb. It seems that all of us know someone who was killed in a car crash.

Reversing this trend depends on each of us who drive. We simply have to stop treating driving like it's a robotic and mundane experience from day to day.

There's really no excuse, however, for a man who admits to a TV reporter that he has fallen asleep suddenly, to be driving anywhere. If that's the case, he knew he was placing others at risk and decided that his own needs were more important. Should the police investigation confirm the cause is that he engaged in such irresponsible behavior, charges must certainly be filed. His actions are no different than a drunk driver's.

The rest of us can just easily take a life if we choose to take our eyes off the road for only seconds.

Recklessness can take many different forms other than driving like an idiot in a stolen car or driving when you know you can black out at the drop of a hat. Most anyone who has driven long enough has had one of those close calls, a stupid moment that could have spelled certain disaster to themselves or others: A glance down at a stereo or looking back at the children in the back seat can cause a drifting across the center line and head on into an oncoming vehicle. And it's true that all the hand-held devices we have today are a great temptation that lead to driver distraction. But it's just not worth it.

Ask yourself if you are prepared to face what Larry Dale Duke is facing today next time you text while driving. Living with the thought that you're responsible for snuffing out another human being just isn't worth a text, a quick study of a GPS or fiddling with an iPhone.

How do you feel? Let Jeff by e-mailing him at