Honorable Mention for Writing
W.I.S.H: The Common Sense Fundamentals for Good Driving
No one really tells you how bad car crashes are. Whether it be for a life or limb, whether it be yours or another’s, loss and regret are found in the steam that rises from car crashes. It surrounds and engulfs suffocating all those involved.
No one will ever tell you about the nurses who cry in the break room, the police officer with hands in his hair trying to rake out the feeling of uselessness, or the firefighters who hose down the flames and red from the streets.
No one will tell you of the pain of a mother having lost a child. A sister having lost a brother. A child having lost their father. The hole it creates that will never be healed.
No one will tell you these things. But, it happens. In a the article “U.S. Car Accidents Statistics- (2019 Update)”, it was found that 90 people die a day because of car crashes. And, according to the same source, there will be around 40,000 fatal car crashes per year in the U.S. There are no words that can console the thousands of families that lose someone to car accidents.
You have a choice. You have a choice to do what you can do to avoid a car crash. There is an acronym for safe driving; W.I.S.H. A wish for the day that nobody dies behind the wheel.
The W stands for Wear a seatbelt. According to a fact sheet from Safe Kids Worldwide, teens not wearing seatbelts accounted for half of car crash fatalities. And, according to the same source,the risk of a front seat passenger dying in a car crash reduced by 45 percent when they are wearing seat belts. So, have common sense, buckle up; it’s always worth it.
The I stands for never be an Impaired Driver. Impaired driving can be anything that distracts you from the road. In teenagers, this could be fatigue and sickness, but it may also be snacking or try to quickly change the radio station at a red light. Remember anything can be a distraction. So, make sure you are alert and rested while on the road. Eat before you drive, make a song playlist with all of your favorite jams, and plan ahead to avoid distractions on the road. Because, if you aren’t giving the road 100% of your attention, you aren’t ready to accept responsibilty for 100% of the damage you may cause.
The S stands for follow the Speed limit. It’s not a “suggestion” or a “speed trap.” The speed limit is there to protect you, other drivers, and people around the roads you are driving on. Follow the speed limit because you never know where you’ll end up faster: the place you’re going or the emergency room; or, even worse, on the defense side of a courtroom.
The H stands for avoid Hazards.If you can avoid driving in hazardous conditions such as snow, ice, heavy rain, or fog, then avoid it. And, if you do have to drive in hazardous conditions use caution and go slower on the roads than you usually would. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in hazardous conditions.
As a fellow driver and fellow teen, I beg all of you to follow WISH; wear a seatbelt, never be an impaired driver, follow the speed limit, and avoid hazards on the road. As my driving instructor told me, don’t let tragedy be your teacher. Stay safe and good luck to all of the new and improving drivers out there!