A co-worker of a friend was in a car crash.
Said person is recovering at home with various non life threatening injuries.
I was once in a crash. Coming back in the dark and the rain, sommeone pulled out in front of me (she "didn't see me" - hence all my bikes now have FEARSOMELY LOUD PIPES) and I had ONLY two choices due to there being no other lane to go into, and heavy construction machinery on the soft shoulder.
I could have hit her car harder than it glanced off me, and been rammed into my handlebars, probably breaking my pelvis and/or spine. Or, I could have braked for all I was worth, knowing the inevitable wet-road skid would be uncontrollable, and I would crash.
I did the latter.
I landed on my eyebrow and rolled, fracturing ribs, soft tissue injury to my neck, shoulder and back. The bike landed on my hand, and it's never been the same since. My face was a streaming crimson mask of blood. Paramedics arrived VERY quickly and demanded I stay still. I was spineboarded and loaded aboard an ambulance.
The amusing things about the very useless police department was that it was no big deal to them that the car involved ran from the scene and came back 10 minutes later, cause after all, the car came back. They also demanded to see my driver's license, even though the wallet was in my back pocket, unreachable because of the board. The cop basically kept demanding that I be moved so that he could just see it, even though his computer system confirmed the name given with ID and that I was properly licensed. The paramedics eventually told the clueless officer that to move me could result in permanent paralysis and therefore his dismissal.
I walked out of the hospital under my own power, and went home the same night. I called my boss at the time to say that I might not be there Monday (I was hit on a Friday) and her response was literally "well thanks. What's that going to do to the schedule? You know, I needed this one like a hole in the head." She then, for all intents and purposes, suggested I choose between working there and continuing to own a motorcycle (I quit).
So I find it very very interesting that with this particular instance and in this particular case with this friend's co-worker, once they established that said person was not seriously injured and was gonna end up okay----
Not one person suggested selling the car, ceasing to drive or otherwise abandoning a car as a mode of transport because it's simply too dangerous.
The way people measure and consider risk is astounding. Riding a motorcycle relatively prudently, wearing leathers and a helmet, provokes comments about organ donors, whereas someone wearing shorts and flip flops with a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers helmet, well, that person is going to live for sure because of the CONE OF PROTECTIVITY of the helmet. Likewise, the person in the car is certainly never going to get hurt in a crash, so she or he can shave, talk on a cell phone, apply makeup and tailgate at highway speed because, after all, cars are safe, motorcycles are dangerous. Or better yet, if you're really worried, get an SUV, and win the arms race by the force of sheer size.
Accidents happen. Stay safe out there. What's prompting this discussion is the fact that when you don't pay attention and flip your car on the highway, when traffic is slowly routed around you, the people in the sealed boxes listening to the stereo and figuring out how to eat the Egg McMuffin with their hands while steering with their knees are oblivious to what's going on with you. I can see you better and hear what you're crying out, begging to know if the kids are OK, etc. That's happened to me three times in the past month, and I'm sick of it.
Jeff Foxworthy noted once that people used to let their kids ride in the window ledge of the back seat, and people died far less in car crashes. People had less car crashes cause they weren't fiddling with satellite radio dials, texting their friends, trying to drink coffee etc while driving. They were paying attention.
There is nothing you can drive that will innately make you safe. Please be careful.