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The Backstory of our New "Right Turn" T-shirt Design

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We’ve added a few new designs to our collection. One of them is a shirt that reads, “Live Longer. Make All Right Turns. ” Here’s the source of the inspiration for that design - along with the deeper meaning.

The Inspiration

The three Neateeshirts designers, Bruce, Circe and me, Linnaea, were riding in the car on the way to a special dinner event. After a tricky negotiation of a left turn, Bruce turned to me and remarked, “We’d live longer if we only made right turns.” I nodded in agreement.

After a little while Circe, sitting in the back seat, piped up, “Hey! That would make a great t-shirt!” Within a few days, she created the design and up went the shirt.

However, there is much more to this business of making left turns for me that a cute quip. I once received a heady traffic ticket for an ill-timed left turn, so the policeman says. Additionally, I’ve been in two accidents as a result of another person making a wrong left turn. Here are the incidences:

The Left Turn Traffic Ticket

I was leaving work and approaching a major intersection. I saw a cop sitting in his car across the street. Feeling it might not be a good idea to just sit there a long time before making my left turn, I went ahead and made it. Well, apparently, my rear end was just missed by a car that must have been going 100 MPH. But who got pulled over? Me.


“Why aren’t you going after that guy going 100 MPH?” I whined to the officer. He patiently explained that if there had been an accident, it would have been my fault because I was the one making the left turn. Then he proceeded to write up the traffic ticket.

The Left Turn that Wrecked My New Car

In January 2014, I acquired a brand new car off-the-lot. LOVED it! For eight months. One morning I was driving towards a restaurant for a breakfast gathering. The establishment sits on the corner of one of the busiest and trickiest intersections in the area. Several lanes and several lights. Well, I was moving right along getting ready to make a right turn when this young woman turned left against the red arrow. She sailed on through as if she had complete right of way. I swerved out of the way as fast as I could, but she plowed into the right front wheel and dislodged it from the axil. The car was totaled. We both walked away unharmed, thankfully. But I sure hated seeing my new car bite the dust. Since then I've acquired the same year and model, just a different color.

The Fatal Left Turn

Obviously, the fatality was not me, but the person who made the wrong left turn…

I was in my mid-twenties – working about 15 minutes from home. One lunch hour I was driving home and a car suddenly appeared before me, making a left turn. It was a woman probably in her fifties. She was turning from a residential street on to the main highway – where I was traveling 40 MPH. I had about two seconds to apply my brakes. I T-boned her car at about 35 MPH. When my car stopped spinning, I looked over and saw that she was not conscious. The ambulances came, and by the time she reached the hospital, she was pronounced deceased. Not a pleasant experience. Her family attempted to file a wrongful death lawsuit against me. There was a thorough investigation of my medical record from the hospital, the crash site, and my totaled car. Everything was in tip-top shape as far as the car was concerned. I was not under any influences. And the rubber on the road clearly indicated I had no opportunity to avoid the collision.

There is now a traffic light on that corner.

Live longer – make all right turns

Of course, our new t-shirt design is a play on words. Not only does it refer to driving, it implies making right life decisions, too. And, it is quite possible we'll all live longer making all right turns!


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