The Victim in the Mirror

Raluca N

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Her eyes locked with the ones she saw in the mirror. What a mistake. What had she been thinking? Closing her eyes, she took herself back to where she had been two weeks ago. The glory of being able to ride in her precious new car; the leather seats smelt fresh and the paint was immaculate. The feeling of being behind the wheel of that monster of a car was like nothing else she had ever experienced before. The fire burning in her veins created a feeling of being unstoppable, invincible, and completely on top of the world. It had been only the third time she had driven the car. The music was blasting; her head was moving to the rhythm as she was humming along with the lyrics. On her way to her friend’s house, Michael, there was a high way portion of the road. Her parents were always griping about safety and being cautious and they rambled on and on about nonsense; of course, she would drive safely. She had her seatbelt on and her mirrors were positioned properly; she wouldn’t dare think about driving under the influence. What could possibly go wrong? Ping! Her phone showed a text message from her friend; apparently, Michael was going to a concert today so they couldn’t meet up at his house. She frowned as she picked up her phone; why would he wait so late to tell – Bang! She opened her eyes with a gasp as her mind left the dream world and entered her reality. Staring back at her was not the face of a teenager, but the deformed face of a victim. However, the cold, haunted eyes staring back at her told her the truth. She was only the victim of herself. Consider the teenagers living all throughout America, the vast majority have some sort of electronic device and can drive. Now consider the whole population of America who is older than 16 years of age, many of these people again have a phone. It’s not really surprising that at least 1 in 4 of all car collisions involves the use a phone considering how attached people today are to their phones. It is very simple for me to say “yes, there is a problem”, mostly because the fact there is a problem is obvious; however, it’s difficult for me to say “here is the solution”. Of course, there is education; we can attempt to prevent catastrophes by providing knowledge to those vulnerable and likely to make such a mistake. However, this does not confirm that those who are exposed to this information will do anything with it. To prevent the horrors induced by reckless and distracted driving, there must be restrictions and strict rules put in place to prevent such an event from taking place. For instance, if a fine were placed on having one’s phone out when driving at any time, and there exist such laws in some areas, fewer people would have the tendency to use their phone with driving. After all, if they get caught, they would suffer from the fine which would persuade them from using their phone again. Though this solution is not ideal because first, it may provoke outrage, and furthermore it does not confirm that everyone would stop from using their phone, it would ultimately reduce the number of distracted drivers. At the moment, there is no set solution to preventing reckless and distracted driving from occurring nevertheless, there are there are certain restrictions and fines that could be put in place to discourage irresponsible behavior on the roads.