The time has finally come. I turned 15 1/2 yesterday and my mother scheduled my permit test for today in the afternoon . All the long hours studying and endless amount of questions I’ve asked my parents on the road were all crucial for this very moment. I passed! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw my name on the provisional permit paper. I was told that I wasn’t allowed to drive until I completed my six hours of behind the wheel lessons; and even so, I wouldn’t be able to drive alone or with other passengers other than my parents or anyone over the age of 21. I should’ve listened. I knew what I was doing when I got in the car that night. Countless times I have been told by my parents not to use my phone while driving, or drive with minors in the car because they were distractors. I should’ve listened. But I didn’t. I went against my parent’s rules and picked up my friends to go to the movies on a Tuesday night. I should’ve listened. I was texting my friends, recording on snapchat the road ahead, proving to the viewers that I was now able to drive. In the videos you can see that we had forgotten to wear seatbelts. We were singing and having a good time. We were oblivious to what was to come. Now look at what happened. I crashed into a semi-truck and it was all my fault. I really should’ve listened. Now they have to pay for my mistake. This is something that can happen to anyone, your mother, your father, your sister, even you. The catch is that you are at more risk for involvement in collisions due to being a teen; in fact 50% of teens killed in car crashes were being driven by another teen. That’s 50% of accidents that could’ve been prevented if the rules were followed. When beginning to learn the rules of the road and driving, you are told to fasten your seatbelt, keep your eyes on the road, and avoid all distractions (can include cell phones, drugs and alcohol, as well as other individuals). We as teens are told this for a reason. About 4000 teens lose their lives in crashes each year, and about 11 die everyday in these crashes. Most of the time, these collisions could have been prevented simply by following the rules. Solutions including driving with your parents or anyone over 21 present in the car can help save your life as well as those around you. They can prevent you from becoming tempted to use your phone while on the road or behaving recklessly. They can control the behavior of any minors in the car while you’re driving therefore maintaining a stable and safe environment. To prevent becoming distracted, strategies such as bluetooth or hands-free mode on your phone will allow your hands to stay on the wheel rather than reaching for your phone to answer a call. Better yet, have your phone turned off while driving. This is because at least one in four of all car collisions involves phone use. If a phone is present collisions can be prevented by you using hands-free mode, having an adult present in the car answer for you, or simply ignoring the call. Think before you drive, you never know if it’ll be your last ride.
My best friend’s mother was under an immense amount of stress and had a busy day at work. Her phone kept ringing on her way home from work and her stress was building up with every ring. Suddenly, her focus shifted from the road onto all the tasks she needed to complete and that is when she became distracted and didn’t notice that the car in front of her was coming to a stop. She hit the car and crashed, cutting her head open slightly and needed 6 stitches. The collision scared all of us, and although it could’ve been prevented, crashes like this happen all the time. With my writing entry, I can remind the readers of the dangers of reckless and distracted driving, in specific with teens, and how it can be prevented.