Speak up and Act out

Rachel P

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On February 18, 2010 my sister was driving to school with my other sister in the car. It takes thirty minutes to get to school without traffic on the highway and on this specific day they weren’t running late. However, they never made it to school that day because of a distracted driver. About 4,000 teens lose their lives in car crashes every year. However, in 2010 my sisters were not part of the 4,000 teens that lost their lives that year. This was because they were wearing their seatbelts. Seatbelts are so important because they reduce the risk of death for front seat passengers by forty-five percent. Without seatbelts, you have a greater chance to get hurt and less of a chance to survive. Fifty percent of teens who lost their lives in collisions would still be alive if they had worn a seatbelt. As my sisters turned into the school parking lot, a car containing a distracted driver hit them. The force pushed their car into parked cars on the side of the road. It was scary and completely unexpected. When they left for school that day, they could have never imagined possibly being one of those eleven teens that die every day in a collision. Thankfully, they weren’t one of those teens. However, that day eleven other teens weren’t as lucky as my sisters. Distracted driving is not safe and benefits no one. It is not only teens that are guilty of it, adults are too. This is because a bad habit doesn’t go away until confronted by a self realization or when something bad happens. Instead of waiting for something bad to happen, I ask you to speak up. Speak up about texting while driving. Speak up about talking on the phone. Speak up about wearing your seatbelt. I believe a great way to prevent more causalities from car crashes due to distracted drivers and lack of seatbelts is to speak up. Bad habits need to be recognized and confronted before you get older because parents are the number one influencer of teens’ driving attitudes and behaviors. Most of us will have kids of our own in the future and will be parents, so it is our duty to provide a safe road for them starting now. We need to show teenagers through assemblies, posters, and classes that their actions have consequences. They need to see that it is scary and if they are going to be a distracted driver they need to take responsibility for what might happen. One thing I learned while preparing to drive was that a car is not a toy, a car is as dangerous as a weapon. You need to be safe while using it and stay alert. Another great way to do this is by investing in a wheel that alerts you whenever you take your hands off the wheel. It is a great way to stop distracted driving because it reminds you of the task at hand and keeps you focused on one thing, driving. Overall, both of these solutions allow for a greater awareness of the problems, effects, and causes of a distracted driver. It shows people what they are doing wrong and the effects of their actions. I think by speaking up and acting out the roads will be a safer and better place for everyone.