Health & Wellness

Mindfulness: Seatbelt Safety Saves New Jersey Family

77ecadb8d0d1642e6a6b_IMG_1898.JPG
The SUV vehicle that exploded into flames less than a minute after the LaRosa family escaped.
edcfae1c44cb9337cfeb_IMG_1899.JPG
The SUV vehicle after the flames were extinguished.
16771760591fbbcfeea2_IMG_2245.JPG
Life is Beautiful sculpture at Cibo Wine Bar in South Beach, Miami, Florida. Credits: Shari LaRosa
77ecadb8d0d1642e6a6b_IMG_1898.JPG

Mindful Driving 

I had just excitedly taken a photo in front of this Life Is Beautiful Sculpture after spending a very lovely week away with family and friends.  It was the last night of what was truly a wonderful vacation.  I actually sat at dinner and while looking around the room, I was appreciating the good friends, the delicious food and the gorgeous evening wishing it would last longer.  The next day we would be headed back to the cold weather.

The following morning was beautiful in terms of the glistening sunrise and the sparkling water, but not so was the experience that was about to happen.  We called an Uber to take us from South Beach, to Miami airport.  My husband sat in the front and I sat in between my two daughters ages 12 and 15 at the time.  It was a little after 6 am.  I told the younger to buckle up as she was semi-laying down tired.   Although we were going for a short city ride, I insisted she put her seatbelt on.  My older daughter had already done so automatically.  I buckled up as well for what should have been a 15 minute ride to the airport.   All of us were kind of dazed and tired as we headed onto the parkway.  Just as we approached an overpass – boom, we were hit from behind.  It knocked off the tire of the Honda SUV Uber we were in and our car spun around and around hitting the side of the overpass.  I thought we were going over.  Somehow, all our luggage actually did eject from the vehicle and go over the overpass.  ‘When is this going to stop, what is this going to feel like’ – the thoughts going through my head.  ‘What is my husband thinking?  My daughter kept saying ‘I love you.’  The car came to a stop.  Everyone got out and I try to as well but I was stuck.  The car was filling with smoke.  In a panic I was able to lift the belt over my lap and shimmy underneath it to escape the car.  It was hard to breathe.  Less than a minute after getting out the car exploded.  My older daughter fainted.  The ambulance took her away, her back was broken.  My younger daughter was ok and my husband ok.   I was bruised, had whiplash, difficulty breathing, but OK.  

Sign Up for E-News

We are all OK now.  We got very very lucky.  

I share this story to remind everyone to be mindful and wear your seatbelt.  Too many people too often do not wear seatbelts in cities or quick taxi rides.  Had we not used seatbelts that day, we would of ended up with our luggage, below the overpass.  A very kind homeless man living under the overpass actually returned all our belongings to us in the midst of all the chaos.  I wish I could have thanked him but it was a bit of a blur.  

I also share this story to point out that too often people drive on autopilot.  I believe being early in the a.m., with not too many cars on the road, my driver was moseying along, at only 50 mph, but kind of just looking ahead.  Not mindful enough of all that was around us and approaching from behind at 80 mph swerving in and out of lanes.  We all know those kinds of drivers.  It is not cool to speed, cut off cars and swerve in and out of lanes.  That is wreckless.  But I still see this kind of driving on the parkways all too often.  And thus, as drivers, we must be mindful not to drive on autopilot.   Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
Mindfulness, being in the present moment, is the safest way to drive.  Of course I am not talking about meditation but being aware of your senses such as what you see and what you hear.  Most people often admit to arriving at their destinations having no memory of actually driving there because their mind was not present while driving.  Drivers get lost in talking to their passengers, on their Bluetooth, listening to music or just lost in thought.  It is truly important to keep your focus on the road and the experience of driving rather than engaging in distracting activities.  Allow extra time to get to your destinations and be mindful to use your rear view mirrors.  I hope this serves as a reminder to be mindful.  

For information about seatbelt safety go to https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbeltbrief/index.html


Shari LaRosa, licensed social worker, has her Masters in Social Work from Monmouth University, and a Bachelors and Masters in Education from Boston University, and Hunter College.  Shari, a busy mom, lives in Holmdel with her husband Adam and two teenage daughters.  She has fostered friendships and learning among women in the area through her group The W Forum which focused on many topics relevant to women, parenting and relationships. Most recently working as a clinician for adolescents, she maintains her passion for helping others.

 

 

Please don't miss out on important stories like this one -Follow us at facebook.com/tapintoholmdelandcoltsneck

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

East Hanover/Florham Park

Important Message for Florham Park Residents Regarding the Fourth of July

Important July 4th Celebration Reminder - Please be advised in the interest of safety and security, the entire parade route will be CLOSED TO ALL TRAFFIC beginning at 8:30am on July 4, 2018. This will impact residents who live along the parade route and all of the side streets that connect to the parade route. (Please see the map attached to this post)

Please ensure that you plan accordingly ...

DevCo is building a new version of Rutgers "The Yard." You may be surprised to see where.

June 8, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK - In 2016, Rutgers University proudly opened “The Yard,” a student housing and retail complex along College Avenue built under the direction of the New Brunswick Development Corp.

Now the corporation, the non-profit development arm for the City of New Brunswick and commonly known as DevCo, is replicating the housing and commercial construction more than two hours ...

Shore Travel Idea - Visit the Debut of Belmar Arts’ Sculpture Garden and Labyrinth - June 2

BELMAR, NJ — Need an excuse to visit Belmar this weekend?  Curious about the eclectic collection of sculpture and other objects that occupies a small corner outside the Belmar Arts Center on River Road?  Why not solve both needs at once?

The public is invited to learn more about the Belmar Arts Sculpture Garden and Labyrinth during its official opening on Saturday, June 2 ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 16

Summer is in the air, and the latest episode of AtlantiCast is ready to help you enjoy some fun outdoors while staying safe! This week’s episode opens with tips for sunscreen usage from Atlantic Health System’s Chief Medical and Academic Officer, Dr. Jan Schwarz-Miller. You’ll also learn about how Atlantic Health System is advancing the future of health care through ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 8:00 PM

Education Center, West Orange

Night Moves: Evening Guided Zoo Tours

Education Other

Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM

Mountain Lakes

Art at the Esplanade

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_5e177eaae57739064cd4_397f63ad2fb50392a776_29178074_2107642336134787_2638697507160326144_n

Sun, June 24, 11:00 AM

Totowa

MakerFest 2018

Thirty Days after the Draft

It’s been just about thirty days since the 2018 NFL Draft and the New York Jets have been working hard to build the team fans have been waiting for. Let’s recap the first round draft pick before discussing OTA’s and other Jets info.

Some New York Jets fans were certain earlier in the 2017 season that with the way the win-losses were going, Sam Darnold would be the New York ...

1896 Miles Away But Hanover Park Stands with Sante Fe

June 16, 2018

EAST HANOVER, N.J.- After the awful events at Santa Fe High School last month, students at Hanover Park organized support. Under the supervision of Kim Lurz, and staff assistance, the students created a banner and put together giftbags for the victims of the attack. Recently students from Santa Fe High were featured on the  TODAY show and brought along the banner. 

Hornets ...

Obituaries

Beverly Jean (Charlton) Weimar, of Ship Bottom, and Florham Park, New Jersey passed away on March ...
Read more

Students at the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA Release Butterflies  

June 15, 2018

Students at the F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA learned all about the life cycle of butterflies from their start as tiny caterpillars until they emerged from their chrysalises as beautiful butterflies. They watched in awe as the butterflies were released into their natural habitat. 

The F.M. Kirby Children’s Center of the Madison Area YMCA ...