Sometimes, Amish are to blame. This week, an Ashland County, Ohio Amish youth was ticketed after reportedly racing another buggy and clipping an oncoming car. But more often, car drivers are the ones at fault.
Recently I came across a video made after an accident last September in Geauga County, Ohio. A vehicle struck a buggy from behind. The eight Amish inside, including a pregnant woman, were ejected onto the road. She later died; her unborn baby survived.
In response, the Geauga Amish community took the unusual step of inviting a news crew to travel along with a buggy driver, in order to demonstrate the dangers they face.
In the video below, Geauga County Amishman Donnie Schmucker carries on two conversations–one with the newsman, the other with his horse.
If you’ve never ridden in an Amish buggy, this gives you about the best simulation you’ll get.
You’ll get a sense of what it’s like to have traffic whipping by at quadruple your speed. Donnie discusses the “fear factor” of going out on busy roads. At one point a passing van screams by, which Donnie says “scares the daylights out of some people”.
It’s also pretty remarkable that the Amish would take this step.
Amish in Geauga County are not the most conservative, but based on personal experience I’ve found them generally less open to outsiders than their nearby Amish cousins in Holmes County.
Hopefully this video will help do what they intended–get people to slow down and “be aware of your surroundings”, as Donnie says.