Car crashes caused by bad drivers are nothing new on the road. Drivers on the phone, talking to passengers, fiddling with the stereo, putting on makeup, eating, drinking and just plain being dumb are a regular hazard for the rest of the world to avoid.
A terrible car crash that left five people dead was foretold by Twitter as one of the passengers tweeted YOLO before the car ran a red light in Ontario, California. For the uninitiated, YOLO stands for “you only live once” and has largely been adopted as the justification, hashtag and caption for reckless behavior in young people.
The term YOLO was originally coined by rapper Drake. The phrase “you only live once” has been used in some form throughout the years. It’s a kind of carpe diem for the non-latin speaking crowd. Abbreviating it to an acronym and adding a hashtag was exactly the kind of exposure needed to catch fire in youth culture.
Here’s a sample of some of the tweets involving YOLO from one of the crash victims, Ervin Mckinness. His twitter name was @ink2flashyy. Spoiler alert: there’s some inappropriate language in these selections.
“Drunk af going 120 drifting corners #fuckit YOLO”
“Driving tweeting sipping the cup fuck yolo i’m turning it up”
These tweets seem to have been coming in a fairly continuous stream until the driver lost control after blowing through a red light and hitting a wall. Four of the victims were pronounced dead at the scene and one other was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Contrary to what these tweets may have you believe, Mckinness was actually not driving while drinking. He was largely regarded as a decent young man. However, he and the others in the car made some poor decisions when it came to driving safety.
It seems as technology becomes more and more distracting that if you are in the car with someone who isn’t driving with their full attention on the road that you should step in. Take the phone away and volunteer to text for the driver. Tell them to slow down if you think they are going too fast. The terrible irony of the YOLO tweets before this deadly crash is that no one cheated death and made it out of the car. The wreckage makes the Nissan Sentra almost unrecognizable.
Crashes like these where bad behavior was reinforced by the passengers or the rallying call of YOLO can easily be prevented with better decision making. If you have been hurt in a crash caused by a distracted driver, make sure you speak to an accident lawyer and discuss your rights.