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Plain Truth Magazine
February 1982
Volume: Vol 47, No.2
Issue: ISSN 0032-0420
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Roderick C Meredith   
Church of God

Born: June 21, 1930
Member Since: 1949
Ambassador College: 1952
Ordained: December 20, 1952
Office: Evangelist

Here is the SEVENTH LAW of radiant health. Breaking it can undo all the benefits attained through healthful living — often with frightening speed.

   I WAS driving home from Fresno, California, at night when it happened.
   It had been a long day. I was tired but relaxed behind the wheel of the car after a good dinner en route. We were nearing the end of our 440-mile round trip from Los Angeles to Fresno and back.
   As we drove through the tunnels on the Pasadena Freeway, a little dark-green sports car went out of control. It careened against the side of the tunnel and bounced back, blocking two lanes — and the fellow just ahead of me. He had to slam on his brakes but could not avoid hitting the sports car.
   I couldn't believe how quickly it all happened!
   I hit my brake quickly, but I had virtually no time to slow down — for I was probably following too closely. So my car skidded sideways — also blocking two lanes. Fortunately, there was no one following closely behind me or I might not be here to write this.
   Even then, we skidded down the highway and bumped the car just ahead — causing considerable damage to both vehicles. My wife was not injured, but a young woman accompanying us was thrown against the rear car-door handle and received a severe bruise on her hip, which gave her discomfort for several weeks.
   In the original wreck, the careening sports-car driver was severely injured and had to be taken away by ambulance. He lived, but suffered severely, and was suddenly faced with huge medical bills. His car was completely wrecked.
   He was fortunate to be alive. And so were we.

It Can Happen So Fast

   Obviously, no accident is planned. They suddenly hit you or seemingly leap at you with frightening speed.
   Yet, careful analysis reveals that they should have been expected. Accidents may involve your lifestyle, your activities and perhaps equipment or vehicles.
   All of us should realize, also, that things often go in cycles. You may have no accidents in your immediate family for a few years. Then all of a sudden you will have one, your child will have one and perhaps another close family member or friend as well.
   Precisely because of this, and because accidents happen so quickly — with such sickening speed and harshness that we may not have experienced for years — it is imperative that we take thought and preventative measures ahead of time.
   Accidents can instantly take from you the fruits of literally years of obeying the other six laws of health — summarized two months ago in The Plain Truth. You can eat a proper, balanced diet, get regular, vigorous exercise,
Did You Know...
that in the United States drunk drivers kill more individuals each year than die from all crimes involving murder, rape, robbery and assault?. that accidents in the developed world are the fourth most important cause of death, exceeded only by heart disease, cancer and stroke? that accidents in the developed world are the leading cause of death among all persons age 1 to about 40? that far more accidents occur in the home than in places of employment?
sleep well and have a positive mental attitude and yet suddenly be "the sickest man in town" if you get hit by a truck!

Why Accidents?

   Why the terrible waste of life and limb in so many varieties of tragic accidents? Why the massive amount of human suffering–'-the permanently scarred and crippled, the widows and orphans, the millions of lost work hours, the hundreds of millions of dollars, pounds or marks needlessly spent because of accidents?
   The answer varies, of course, with each type of accident.
   Not surprisingly, certain types of people are accident prone. And others are more prone to accidents in certain situations.
   As a Royal Bank of Canada newsletter points out: "Being in a bad humor is a dangerous state. A person in a cheerful, kindly, happy mood is less likely to incur an accident than one in a mood of discontent, grief or despair. When we are irritated, feeling below par or frustrated, we have to be extra careful in everything we do, for these feelings make us sitting ducks for accidents."
   People in bad moods are fundamentally breaking the second great spiritual law of our Creator: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself."
   As regular Plain Truth readers know, God has revealed in that book we call the Holy Bible a WAY of life. He has revealed LAWS of life that operate automatically — just like the law of gravity. When we break these laws, they break us — in the form of broken homes, broken friendships, broken careers and dreams — and often in the form of broken bodies and broken bones from accidents.
   As we proceed to look at different types of accidents — their causes and their cure — think on this principle. For, in each case, spiritual LAWS are almost certainly also being broken. And this violation must be repented of It must stop in order for the accidents themselves to stop occurring.
   The number-one cause of auto wrecks is drunk driving. Every 23 minutes, someone in the United States is killed in an accident involving a drunk driver.
   On a typical Saturday, studies have found, one of every 10 drivers is drunk. But of every 2,000 drunk drivers, only one is arrested — and stiff punishment is meted out in only a fraction of these cases!
   Authorities agree that drunk driving is the most socially acceptable violent crime in the United States. God calls it a capital sin! Some judges and jurors are far too tolerant of the drunken driver. Being regular drinkers themselves, they tend to say, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." In some Scandinavian countries, a driver arrested with only half the amount of alcohol the United States permits is considered too drunk to drive. And he faces a mandatory jail term up to 21 days! In Switzerland, tough laws, stringent enforcement and an effective public information campaign against alcoholism really works. There are far fewer highway fatalities due to drunkenness.
   Obviously the United States, Britain and many other countries need to follow suit. And we as individuals must learn the importance of sobriety and self-discipline — especially when behind the wheel of an automobile.
   Besides being completely sober, totally alert and cautious, here are seven basic rules for highway safety.
   1. Assume that at least some nearby drivers may be partly intoxicated, drugged or impaired by sight or hearing loss, pain or fatigue. Realize that you may need to take precautionary measures to avoid trouble. You have a responsibility.
   2. Obey the speed laws. On most short trips, driving at excessive speeds will only save you a few minutes or seconds — if you get there safely.
   3. Always allow two seconds between the front of your car and the rear of the car in front of you. Never tailgate. And if you must slow down, do it gradually so that vehicles behind you can adjust.
   4. When you start to pass, make sure another car isn't passing you. First, use your turn signal; then look in the rear and side-view mirrors. Finally, take a brief look over your shoulder before you pull out.
   5. As you approach the crest of a hill, slow down a bit and be mentally prepared in case there is a barrier or hazard on the other side.
   6. Whenever there is a car traveling toward you in the opposite lane on a single-lane highway, wait until later to tune the radio or scold a child. Even a momentary distraction could cause you to veer directly into a head-on crash or onto a soft shoulder where you could lose control.
   7. Concentrate on obeying the "Golden Rule" when driving: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." This one driving rule — if universally practiced — would save tens of thousands of lives annually throughout the Western world alone.
   It is so easy, when driving, to become impatient and demanding and forget all of the normal civilized habits of caution and courtesy. The tremendous lethal power suddenly placed into the hands of a driver requires a great deal of maturity and responsibility.
   We must learn to exercise sobriety, caution, courtesy and outgoing concern for the very lives of our fellow human beings when driving. Otherwise, the expensive vehicle that could have been a great pleasure and convenience may instead become a death trap or a killer.

Home Accidents

   The record keepers say that about four million Americans are injured each year in home accidents. A surprising survey by two research groups disclosed that three quarters of the 48,727 people answering the questionnaires thought the accidents were preventable.
   "This is a startling change in peoples' attitudes toward accident prevention," said Howard Pyle, Safety Council President. "For years,
Where Have All the Drunk Drivers Gone? - To Pot
   Driving under the influence of marijuana can cause the driver to think he's only doing 40 miles an hour when in fact he is doing 80 or 90. Marijuana intoxication may cause impairment of time reaction; inability to brake quickly; impairment of night driving abilities; a marked increase in the time needed to recover from glare; difficulty in" backing, turning around, passing, getting on or off roads.
   Impairments caused by pot plus alcohol are more than additive. One drug serves to "fire up" the other. Thus, one plus one equals three or four on the impairment scale.
most people believed that an accident was not preventable, [but] an act of God or fate. This apparent shift... is gratifying to all those concerned with safety and accident prevention."
   Most home accidents reported involve tripping over, falling off or out of things, striking, bumping, slipping, dropping or falling. Again, the under-20 age group experienced the highest rate of personal injury, while the lowest injury rate was in the 35 to 44 age brackets.
   Obviously, greater patience and care needs to be taken by the young, and by parents of very young children who need to more closely supervise their activities around knives and sharp objects, fire, stoves, fans and other appliances. But the elderly, too, need to be more cautious in reaching, lifting, pulling and especially when using stairways.

Lack of CHARACTER Involved in Accidents

   The exercise of right character — or the lack of it — is very much involved in whether accidents occur. The development of right character is one of the chief reasons for which humans have been given life and breath by our Creator.
   We will be held accountable for how we use the mechanical vehicles and contrivances that God has given us the ability to invent and produce. Most auto crashes are not strictly accidents. They are caused. They are usually caused by someone who is regularly and knowingly driving too fast; by someone who is regularly and knowingly drinking too much. They are often caused when someone is constantly selfish, vain, thinking of himself rather than others, arrogant, impatient, carelessly following other drivers too closely, weaving in and out of traffic, literally bullying his way down the highway asking for trouble.
   Drivers, having learned how to speedily annihilate space, put themselves in constant danger of annihilating one another. It is easy to let the speed needle climb without noticing it. But as a decent human being you must notice it! For the Lord and Giver of life commands us all, "Thou shalt not kill."
   We are responsible for our lives as well as others. So we must take care how we ride our bicycle, our motorcycle, and how we use the power saw or the knife sharpener. We must zealously teach and train our children to take care of the precious lives and limbs they have been given. And we adults must be sure that little children are not endangered by sharp objects or toxic substances left within their reach, open fires or dangerous stairwells.
   Older people must overcome false pride and quit driving when they have lost their reflexes or adequate hearing or eyesight. They must think of the danger to others as well as themselves. They must be much more careful in using stairways, in lighting fires, in reaching for high objects.
   Young and old, rich and poor, we all have a responsibility to our Maker to protect and cherish the bodies He has given us. "We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (II Cor. 5:10).
   Each of us must learn to be a builder and protector of life and happiness.
   This is our responsibility. This is the seventh law of health.

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Plain Truth MagazineFebruary 1982Vol 47, No.2ISSN 0032-0420
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