The Least Acknowledged Cause of Collision

Renee A

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Long, red hair gets stuck in the car door for a short second and the closing and opening of a 2018 Toyota Camry door can be heard. The little tug effect does not wear off the smile on Mary’s 18-year old face. The smile spreads across her cheeks; she is so excited to go to her first day of college. She puts the key in the ignition with her dainty hands, ensures the car is in neutral mode, and starts the ignition. She starts to see in a tunnel vision, dazed by the exciting day that is to come ahead. That dainty neck disclosed by a Mission College sweatshirt, the single red braid that hangs back, and the smile on her face all jerk forward at once. Her sweatshirt is stained with blood, her red braid hangs lifelessly over her face, and her smile is saturated with the dreadful color that diminishes the vividness of her red hair: blood. Another large smile makes its way into a car. A smile that folds like the papers of the first-graders he grades. His portly hands cover what seem to be half of the steering wheel, and his head grazes over the cotton roofing of his car. 21-year-old Andrew is seated in a car his tiny students can operate: a self-driving car. He starts a wonderfully normal day thinking about the events that lay ahead of him: interacting with his students, receiving praise from the other teachers at the Tuesday teacher conference meeting, and coming home to grade fictional stories of his precious pupils. His large hands and tall stature usually save him from violent street fights by scaring people off, but this time, his height is a major weakness in terms of protection. His head slams on the drawboard, his abnormally long torso is crushed due to the pressure of the dashboard, and his long hands lay lifeless next to him. Mary and Andrew could have potentially both saved their lives. Their death was the cause of something entirely preventable: ignorance. By being so immersed in their own lives, they forgot about their safety when driving in a car. In short, they had both not put on their seatbelts. 4,000 teenagers die of car crashes every year; 55% of those teens do not wear seatbelts. This is because of one main reason: a lack of education. Why are these teenagers, who have already passed driving school, not educated enough to drive? The answer is that these teenagers do not repetitively consider the dangers of driving. A step must be taken to resolve this issue of ignorance when it comes to the peril of driving without a seatbelt. The only way to cure this disease is with a form of repetitive learning. Repetitive learning would take place on a website that all minors are required to visit once a month to read an article and take a quiz on it. The case of Mary reflects off of present-day teens, and the case of Andrew reflects off of future generations. If we cannot implement the self-generated fear of car collisions, then not only will this generation suffer, but all to come. Even though Andrew drives a self-driving car, which is supposed to reduce crashes due to the fact that it eliminates human error, he still dies. He does not die because of mechanical error, but because of his carelessness. If this website existed during the time of Mary and Andrew, their tragedies would not have occurred because they would have been more cautious of the danger of not putting on a seatbelt.