PROBLEM: Let me introduce to you to Peter. He is an ordinary guy, age 17, a stubby beard, and decides to go out for a drive one day. He didn’t sleep a lot the night before, but that has become his habit, just because he likes to sleep very little. It is after school. He is driving his brother back home, but decides to stop by Walmart first, just as he does every day, just to see if there is anything to buy. He calls his parents to ask if they need any groceries. As he is driving to the parking lot, he pulls into the turning lane too late. He tries to cut off another car. The car speeds to block him. Peter tries to pull back out of the turn lane, but a pedestrian gets in the way. Peter swerves back into the turn lane hoping the other car will stop. They crash. Why did Peter crash? Whose fault was it? They say that time and events are not random. There is always a set chronology of events and people that push the snowball little by little until a colossal avalanche occurs. What is important to remember is that these crashes are not caused by randomness. They are caused by people and small decisions, each piling on top of one another. Not just the driver. Passengers. Other drivers. Pedestrians. Friends. Teachers. Family. There are a series of different people and a string of events that allow a crash to happen. But each one can prevent it. SOLUTIONS: Let us observe the events that come into play and what could have been done: Passenger: Speak Up • When the driver is driving recklessly and multitasking, speak up and let them know that it is not safe. You are not being rude. Do this to save your life and theirs. Other Drivers: Be respectful and know that is a human being in the other car • If someone is trying to get into a lane, don’t push driver to the point of crashing just for pride • Honk when you see someone driving extremely fast • Honk if you see a car slowly swerving off the road, as it is most likely the driver is falling asleep. Driver: Consider everything • Be wary of anything that can distract you: Your amount of sleep, cell phone use, passengers you drive, even the food that you eat, etc. • Never multi-task • Focus on driving Parents: Be a role model • Show your children how to safely drive • Do not use your phone while you are driving or continue a phone call with your children while they are driving. Pedestrians: Never jaywalk • Be mindful of cars, for your safety and the drivers’ safety Teachers: Teach safety • Teach students the consequences of reckless driving Everyone: Spread the word • Everyone can spread awareness on how to prevent reckless driving. The more people that know, the more people that can prevent an crash – because an crash is not just the work of a single event or a single person. It is many many tiny events and people that lead to a final crash. We are all bits of snow in a world where there is a certain level of trust in each other. To save lives we must all work together and do our part to prevent a snowball effect, eventually inevitably ending in an avalanche. About 11 teens die every day in collisions and about 4000 teens lose their lives in crashes each year. But crashes from reckless driving can be prevented. Just do your part. Go save a life.
This piece tells the allegory of an average teenager named Peter. The crash that happens to Peter is due to Peter’s reckless driving. However, it was not just Peter’s responsibility to prevent the crash. The crash could have been prevented with a warning from his brother, a stop in the phone call from his parents, a little more sleep the night before, and kinder driving practices from the other driver. We are all linked together in a snowball effect. The individual mistakes are little, but they roll up to create an unstoppable avalanche of snow. We are all responsible for protecting each other’s lives. We just have to remember to do our part. And that is the solution to reducing reckless driving.