I lost one of my closest friends to reckless driving during the summer before my junior year. She was 15. The driver that hit her was 17. The following year, while participating in a run in honor of reckless driving victims, I saw hundreds of signs, each displaying the name of yet another victim. The grief that stems from the loss of a friend is suffocating, even more so due to the fact that this death was entirely preventable. The topic of reckless driving is almost like a leap year – it appears in the headlines occasionally, and during that moment all notice, and then it disappears and everyone seems to forget that it exists. If we truly want to stop reckless driving, we must begin to advocate for safe and cautious driving before individuals even begin to drive. The entirety of my reckless driving education came from a single 10-minute video that I watched during drivers’ education. We watched the video, made in 1990, in silence. Nothing else was said after. Then, we continued on. That is where one of our greatest fallacies as a human race originates – we believe that simply mentioning a topic is enough to do it justice. There is an immense need for a rewiring of the drivers’ education system, and reckless driving education must be an integral part of the curriculum. In order to diminish reckless driving, there must be a series of videos and discussions that work in synergy and communicate one message – reckless driving is not rare; it can take the lives of any young individual, and, if ignored, it will likely take the life of someone you know. Young drivers must have a built-in education that dedicates large efforts to the topic of reckless driving, and incorporating recent, up-to-date videos on the subject would aid in developing a base for this crucial knowledge. Videos that utilize recent statistics while showcasing those who have been affected by reckless driving would convey the severity of the subject, forcing those who are learning to drive to understand the true dangers of reckless driving. If young drivers can gain the early understanding that reckless driving could easily dismantle their life, then the future can begin to be rewritten with a new generation of safer drivers. Change will require time. It will not heed immediate results, but the final picture could be astonishing. If the mindset of drivers can systematically begin to be altered, reckless driving will no longer be a hidden killer that lurks within the shadows of ignorance – it will be a subject that all will truly understand. I watched the results of reckless driving fracture my entire community. I left my sophomore year unknowing that I would begin junior year without a friend. I will graduate this year, and it is still difficult to understand that she will never cross the stage with me. None of this had to happen, and, if the drivers’ education system can be renovated in a manner that better teaches about the dangers of reckless driving, perhaps this will never have to happen again.
I have produced a piece of writing that highlights the dangers of reckless driving through the insertion of a personal anecdote. As the writing progresses, I propose my solution of updating drivers’ education programs in a manner that better addresses the dangers of reckless and distracted driving.