Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital
Veteran Spotlight on Motor Vehicle Safety
It was past midnight on March 6, 2006 and Veteran Aaron Sheley was driving home from a work gathering. He stopped at a red light and unbuckled his seatbelt to reach for something he dropped on the floor. The light turned green. He looked both ways to be sure nobody was coming and, before he could buckle up again, he noticed a set of headlights coming at him. He attempted to speed up to avoid the collision. However, it was too late. The other driver, who was intoxicated, slammed into him causing his truck to roll three times. Firefighters had to use the” jaws of life” to free Sheley from his truck.
Sheley continues to suffer from mental and physical injuries as a result of the accident. He states, “It has made me look at the way I am as a driver in a different light than before.” Although he realizes there was little he could have done to prevent what happened, he now focuses on what he can do as a driver to prevent a future accident. The first thing he does when he gets into his car is put his seatbelt on. He is constantly alert of his surroundings and avoids anything that might alter his awareness.
Sheley advises other drivers to be aware of their surroundings and always adhere to the rules of the road. He also encourages others who have been in an accident before to utilize resources available for mental and physical injuries.
For more information on preventing motor vehicle crashes visit: http://www.prevention.va.gov/Healthy_Living/Be_Safe_Prevent_Motor_Vehicle_Crashes.asp