Monday, August 11, 2014

Editorial: Motor Trend's Jessi Lang Shares Why She Had Been Gone for So Long

After seemingly disappearing for nearly a year, Motor Trend's Jessi Lang posted a video about a week ago explaining her absence, and the accident that led to her long absence from YouTube and Motor Trend. The reason I want to share her story is because the type of accident she was involved in could happen to any of us, regardless of speed. Not only do I find Jessi's story of recovery to be uplifting, but I also find it to be a good tale of caution. Just because you are a good driver and focused, does not mean that another driver oblivious to their surroundings will not ruin your day.

I understand that many of our readers may not necessarily know who Jessi Lang is, so here is some background info on her. Jessi Lang is a writer, producer, and host of her own show on Motor Trend's YouTube channel. Though Jessi had posted non car related videos in the past, I had started following her videos when she was still reviewing cars for Roadfly TV. When I first watched one of Jessi's car reviews, I felt her attitude and personality brought a breath of fresh air to the droll and mundane car reviews available on YouTube at the time. Jessi later transitioned to working at Motor Trend, where she started off hosting the "Wide Open Throttle" show on Motor Trend's YouTube channel. Later, Jessi was given her own show called the "J-Turn." This show followed Jessi's exploits in the motoring world, such as learning to ride a dirt bike, learning rally driving, or participating in a team racing event. Admittedly, I was a pretty jealous of Jessi's day job, but at the same time happy to see someone pursuing their dreams and allowing viewers to follow their progress.

In September of last year, Jessi's videos suddenly stopped showing up on Motor Trend's YouTube channel. As with many of Jessi's fans, I had though she had moved on from Motor Trend. Unfortunately, there was no evidence available to substantiate this theory. A few weeks later, as my brother and I continued our social networking push for our blog, I logged on to Twitter and found Jessi's Twitter, where she had mentioned she was involved in a car accident. Details surrounding the accident were sparse, and I believe for a good reason. For the full story about Jessi's accident and her long road to recovery, you can watch the "J-Turn" special, posted about a week ago, below:


For some additional info about Jessi's accident and recovery, as well as information about the Abt engineer that was traveling with Jessi, check out Jessi's Q&A with Motor Trend

Listening to Jessi talk about her accident and the long and painful recovery she had to go through was heart wrenching. I simply cannot imagine having to go through the same ordeal she did, and all because one careless driver did not check their surroundings before changing into the fast lane she and Abt engineer Bjorn Marek were driving in. This got me again thinking about the importance of lane discipline, especially on roads like the unregulated sections of Germany's Autobahn. More often than not, both my brother and I find ourselves constantly having to remind people that if they are driving slower, to stay out of the fast or passing lanes. You never know when someone in the fast lane could be traveling at high speeds. Forcing the faster driver to slow down from a high rate of speed in a short distance is extremely dangerous and can not only put the other driver in danger, but can put yourself in danger as well. As usual, always remember to check your surroundings before changing lanes and never stay in the fast or passing lanes if you are traveling slower than the flow of traffic or notice a faster car approaching you from behind.

To Jessi: thank you for sharing your story with us and for letting your fans know that you are doing better. It takes a lot of strength and courage to go through what you have been through in the last few months. It also takes a lot of strength and courage to share your story with complete and total strangers. The strides you have made in your road to recovery and your continued drive to get better is incredibly uplifting. Most importantly, it is great to see that you have not lost your passion and drive for cars and your job. Keep doing what you are doing, and I am sure that all of your fans cannot wait to see what you have in store for us with your next video. Stay strong!