This 1 critical piece of advice from my dad literally saved my life

James Julian
5 min readJun 8

My eldest son is approaching driving age, which is a lowkey terrifying thought.

It’s not that I don’t trust him.

He’s an incredibly smart kid who stays out of trouble and makes good decisions for the most part.

While driving opens up a whole new world for kids, it also opens up a whole new world of risks.

Drinking and driving. Speed. The misplaced sense of invincibility that comes with youth.

Yet I’m less worried about him than I am about other people. Here’s the thing: if you have a modicum of common sense, the greatest risk on the road doesn’t usually come from your own choices.

It comes from the poor decisions of others.

Digital illustration of a car crash between a beige Honda Civic and a black SUV)
Trusting others to make good decisions on the road can cost you your life (Digital illustration credit: James Julian/Dall-E2)

The day I almost died

So there I was, returning home after dropping my sister, her husband, and her son off at the airport after she’d come to pay us a visit. We both had young families at the time — her son was about 6–7 months old, mine was a newborn.

It’s a weird time as a human actually, early-early parenthood.

I remember strapping my son into his car seat for the first time when we left the hospital and feeling like everything was out to kill us.

Suddenly, you are HYPER-VIGILANT toward possible risks to your child’s safety.

There’s a two-lane road leaving the airport that has another road merging onto it, and that road was about to deliver a big black SUV that was about to try and kill me.

I was going a shade over the 80 km/h speed limit on the road as the SUV approached.

At the point one would normally look around and start moving onto the main road, the driver started to slow and pull off onto the gravel shoulder as though he needed to check his directions or take a call or something.

Suddenly, after coming to a near stop, he floored it and cranked his vehicle into a U-turn right in front of me as I barrelled toward him.

James Julian

James is a former journalist and a current author, independent writer, entrepreneur, and investor. Top Writer in Health, Productivity and Parenting.