An Influence For Precaution

Desiree C

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Growing up, I would always ask my aunts and uncles why they wanted a license. Most of them had gotten their license in their late teens or early twenties, but their answers were all relatively the same. They wanted freedom. Being ten or so, I never understood what that meant. Why would I want to break away from the security of my house just so I can drive on the streets? I remember always being under the impression that nothing good happened on the streets. Through my eyes I always saw traffic, my mom yelling at other drivers, and I especially saw car accidents. Now, being almost eighteen with priorities and a routine schedule -I can understand what they meant by freedom. When I got my license myself I was ecstatic and was so ready to merge into this new road of independence. Then I thought about my younger self. I thought about the view I had on driving and for the drivers on the road. Having a license no longer meant I was more likely to be a witness or be apart of an accident, but I could be the cause of one. Having control on the steering wheel not only meant I had control of my life, but control of what happens to lives around me. It was even more moving realizing that the hands of my life could be in others as well. Instead of creating more paranoia for myself, I made a vow. I made a vow that I would protect myself. I promised that I would not put others lives at risk. So by doing this, I made some adjustments. Before I get in my car, I always text my parents that I’m about to leave the house so that they know to call me in emergencies when I’m driving. If I’m ever to get a phone call I always pull over to the side, out of the way of everyone else. Instead of putting what I carried into the car onto the passenger or back seat, I now put it in the trunk. Instead of leaving my phone in the cup holder beside me, I put it in the glove compartment. Whenever my friends and I decided to go out I always remind them how important it is that they don’t do anything intentionally silly in the car so that I don’t get distracted. I always encourage them to revise their driving habits as well so that they don’t get themselves in a tough situation too. Above all else, I’m constantly learning how to be more patient and courteous to drivers around me. These are only a few things I practice in my vehicle and many others are more than capable of doing the same. The list is endless as to what one can do to make sure they’re not of a threat to themselves and others while driving. In the end, we want to set a good example for the younger generations and teach them how to be safe. We want to prevent newly licensed drivers from having the same experience I had, and help promote the idea of trusting themselves and others while driving.