She sat in the drivers’ seat, her hands gripping the steering wheel. She looked at the road quickly, then stopped to apply the lipstick she got for her seventeenth birthday. A noise came from the passenger seat, startling her. “That’s a nice color. Which one is it?” Said a girl, who looked around her own age, and who also just appeared next to her. “Berry Pink. Who are you? What are you doing in my car?” “Did you know that 11 teenagers are killed daily in car crashes? Or that 1,000 injuries occur every day in distracted driving collisions?” The driver became scared. Who was this girl in the passenger seat? “Why are you telling me this?” “I don’t think you knew those things, did you? When you decided to put that lipstick on?” “What does my lipstick have to do with this? Am I dreaming? I must be dreaming. I don’t know who you are. I’m stopping the car, because you need to get out.” “I can’t get out. Do you know what happened when you put that lipstick on? When you looked away?” The girl paused, as if expecting the driver to answer. “You hit me with your car. Then you swerved and hit a telephone pole. I can’t leave – we can’t leave.” Two people died in the accident that day. When you drive distracted, it does not just have consequences for others. When you decide to look away, even for one second, what happens is your responsibility. Will you own up to it? Are you willing to face the consequences? If you have decided that you do not want to experience these things, there are ways that you can stop distracted driving. You can turn your phone on silent when you enter your car. This will ensure that you do not have anything you want to answer on your phone. You might even forget it is there. If you drive with friends, ask them to keep the volume down. Encourage them to have fun, but in a way that is safe for all of you while you are driving. One out of two teenage collision deaths occur when another teenager is driving. Do not let that be you. Do not be a statistic. For the sake of all of us, end distracted driving today. Your conscience will thank you.
This essay describes what can happen if you do even one of the most seemingly inconsequential things – applying lipstick – while driving. This can happen while looking at your phone or elsewhere. With this essay, I hope to encourage people to not drive distracted.