Motor vehicles are dangerous. Collisions between motor vehicles in this country kill more people each year than any war since World War II. And politicians are not exempt. A brief outline presented in the New York Times recently reveals the following with respect to our recent crop of politicians and motor vehicle collisions and infractions for dangerous driving:
The two most recent Democratic presidents had their lives altered dramatically as a result of motor vehicle collisions.
President Barack Obama’s father died in a motor vehicle accident in 1982, when the future president was just 21. President Bill Clinton’s father died in a motor vehicle accident in 1946; just a few months before the future president was born.
Vice President Joe Biden lost his wife and infant daughter to a motor vehicle accident in 1972 as a result of a tractor-trailer collision. This was after Mr. Biden won the U.S. Senate seat from Delaware, but before he was sworn in. The future Vice President’s two sons survived the collision and are both well today.
Former Vice President, Al Gore almost lost his six-year-old son when he was a pedestrian and was struck by a motor vehicle.
Republicans have their own driving infractions, collisions and tragic motor vehicle stories: When former President George Bush was 30,in 1976, and vacationing at his family estate in Kennebunkport, Maine, he went drinking with friends and then drove home, getting stopped by the local police for driving under the influence of alcohol. Fortunately, there were no injuries. He paid the fine and had his license suspended for a period of time. Ten years later, the future president gave up alcohol altogether. His Vice President, Dick Cheney was arrested twice for drunk driving before he was even 23 years old! Mr. Cheney was penalized with small fines and a brief loss of license in Wyoming. Ironically, the penalty for the second drunk driving offense was less than the first offense.
The wife of former President George Bush, Laura Bush, was 17 years old when she blew through a stop sign and was involved in a serious motor vehicle accident in Midland, Texas; her high school boyfriend, traveling in another vehicle, was killed. There were no criminal charges. Her writings indicate that this was a significant life changing event.
The Republican candidate for president in 2008 was Senator John McCain. While McCain was imprisoned in Vietnam, his wife, Carole McCain, was a victim of a serious motor vehicle accident in Arizona necessitating 23 surgical procedures. The medical care was paid for by former presidential candidate, Ross Perot, who was a strong supporter of American POWs. Ms. McCain also became friends with Nancy Reagan.
Governor Romney was involved in a grave head on collision while undertaking his Mormon mission in France. Although Mr. Romney was driving, he was not responsible. Unfortunately, the front seat passenger, Leola Seely Anderson, the wife of the Mormon mission leader, who was sitting next to her husband, was killed. Mr. Romney suffered broken bones and a concussion.
Whether you are a Republican, Democrat, or independent, if you are an American, there is a good chance you drive a motor vehicle, are a passenger in a motor vehicle from time to time, and have loved ones that do the same. The vehicles and the way others on the road drive make it a dangerous proposition. Folks who become famous, folks who are famous, young folks, war heroes, can all be victims to some degree. Drive safely, wear your seat belt, and, if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident in Massachusetts call experienced Personal Injury Attorney Neil Burns at 617-227-7423.