Congratulations to the fall 2019 Contest Winners:
Drive safe Mate!
The Get Settled Campaign
At the Stoplight
Young Rocky: The Digital Age
Do You Do It?
W.I.S.H: The Common Sense Fundamentals for Good Driving
No one really tells you how bad car crashes are. Whether it be for a life or limb, whether it be yours or another’s, loss and regret are found in the steam that rises from car crashes. It surrounds and engulfs suffocating all those involved.
No one will ever tell you about the nurses who cry in the break room, the police officer with hands in his hair trying to rake out the feeling of uselessness, or the firefighters who hose down the flames and red from the streets.
No one will tell you of the pain of a mother having lost a child. A sister having lost a brother. A child having lost their father. The hole it creates that will never be healed.
No one will tell you these things. But, it happens. In a the article “U.S. Car Accidents Statistics- (2019 Update)”, it was found that 90 people die a day because of car crashes. And, according to the same source, there will be around 40,000 fatal car crashes per year in the U.S. There are no words that can console the thousands of families that lose someone to car accidents.
You have a choice. You have a choice to do what you can do to avoid a car crash. There is an acronym for safe driving; W.I.S.H. A wish for the day that nobody dies behind the wheel.
The W stands for Wear a seatbelt. According to a fact sheet from Safe Kids Worldwide, teens not wearing seatbelts accounted for half of car crash fatalities. And, according to the same source,the risk of a front seat passenger dying in a car crash reduced by 45 percent when they are wearing seat belts. So, have common sense, buckle up; it’s always worth it.
The I stands for never be an Impaired Driver. Impaired driving can be anything that distracts you from the road. In teenagers, this could be fatigue and sickness, but it may also be snacking or try to quickly change the radio station at a red light. Remember anything can be a distraction. So, make sure you are alert and rested while on the road. Eat before you drive, make a song playlist with all of your favorite jams, and plan ahead to avoid distractions on the road. Because, if you aren’t giving the road 100% of your attention, you aren’t ready to accept responsibilty for 100% of the damage you may cause.
The S stands for follow the Speed limit. It’s not a “suggestion” or a “speed trap.” The speed limit is there to protect you, other drivers, and people around the roads you are driving on. Follow the speed limit because you never know where you’ll end up faster: the place you’re going or the emergency room; or, even worse, on the defense side of a courtroom.
The H stands for avoid Hazards.If you can avoid driving in hazardous conditions such as snow, ice, heavy rain, or fog, then avoid it. And, if you do have to drive in hazardous conditions use caution and go slower on the roads than you usually would. It’s always better to be safe than sorry in hazardous conditions.
As a fellow driver and fellow teen, I beg all of you to follow WISH; wear a seatbelt, never be an impaired driver, follow the speed limit, and avoid hazards on the road. As my driving instructor told me, don’t let tragedy be your teacher. Stay safe and good luck to all of the new and improving drivers out there!
Whats your Squirrel?
Everything can change in a second, make the right choice
Cab Calloway School of the Arts
For You and I
A Great Multitasker
It’s 6:02 am, good morning! It’s the first day of junior year! While this may not strike you as excited, this is the first day you get to drive yourself to school. You’ve spent the last 6 months with your parents sitting next to you, even though you are practically a pro. But, they have taught you a lot. They even taught you how to multitask when you drive. You’ve always seen your mom eating her breakfast while driving you to school. You always noticed your dad speeding when you were running late. You drive with your friends all the time, and they are constantly responding to Snapchat’s while driving, they don’t even need to look at the road! You’ve practically memorized where every road sign, traffic light, and speed limit is posted on the way to school. So even if you do need to look away from the road, you’ll know where everything is. You think to yourself, “How hard could it be?” It’s 6:34 am, you finally step foot into the driver’s seat of your car, no longer having to wait for your parents to get in next to you. You’ve made yourself a coffee, considering the fact that the earliest you’ve woken up all summer is 11 (yes, the earliest). Even if you choose to drink coffee while you drive, it’s okay because you’re a great multitasker. It’s 6:42 am, you can still feel yourself falling asleep. You even start noticing yourself veering off the road a little bit. Of course, you are going to turn the music up a little louder than usual to wake yourself up more. You pick your phone up to turn the volume up, just to find a text from your mom telling you to have a great first day. It’s your mom, you have to respond. You figure you’ll just respond with a “Thanks.” If you think about it, you’ve already taken your eyes off the road AND your hands. So, 6 words wouldn’t hurt, right? Of course not, because you’re a great multitasker. It’s now 6:57 am, you’re stuck in traffic, already driving slow. Do you hear your phone ringing? It’s your friends wondering where you are. You don’t pick up, but decide it’s okay to text back, right? I mean, you’ve already driven way faster than you should, turned your music up louder than usual, taken your hands off the wheel one too many times, but it’s okay because again, you’re a great multitasker. At this point, the first bell is about to ring. Are you really gonna be that person late to school on the first day? Of course not. You come up to a red light, recklessly thinking to yourself, “I can definitely make it.” I mean you’ve already accomplished so much on this drive, what’s running one red light gonna do? You’re about to until something stops you. You slam on your brakes. You turn off the radio. You power off your phone. You take a second to realize every decision you’ve made. The danger you put yourself in, as well as the human beings around you. You were about to risk your own safety, for what? A late pass on the first day of school? It wouldn’t have been worth it, because you made it to school with 3 minutes to spare. You drive home from school with absolutely every distraction off. You make a promise to yourself that you will never be that person again, under any circumstances.
Feeling so free since I got my license to drive, hands up! No! Hands on the wheel, let’s stay alive Just for a second! No worries, you’ll see, being in a wreck won’t happen to me. Pile on in, let’s party some more Hold up man, there’s only seating for four We can squeeze in six. No worries, you’ll see, being in a wreck won’t happen to me You really should put that away It’s no big deal, I can text while I drive Can you drive while you text? Seriously, put it down, we’re going to get in a wreck I haven’t crashed yet, what’s one more text? No worries, you’ll see, being in a wreck won’t happen to me Hey! Keep your eyes forward, you almost drove off the road Please… just relax No, I think it’s time for me to go home Peace out, buzzkill, you’re too uptight, and our friends in the back seat agree I’m going to miss them all and that could have been me.
Distractions Are Deadly
¿Quieres ser parte de esto?/Do you want to be part of this?
Mission: Arrive Alive
What did I do?
I am 5 seconds
I am 5 seconds, pretty insignificant in everyday life. You look at me and think “Eh, it’s not that long.”. You usually notice me when the microwave is about to go off or when you are counting down for school to let out. Did you know I can go really far though? I can go the length of an entire football field when going 55 mph! Think about your football team running from end zone to end zone to score a touchdown in that time! Now think about when you look at your phone, I again don’t seem like that long. When you are driving, and you look down at your phone, I am much longer than I appear. I have seen numerous car accidents, loss of life and countless avoidable situations. In my time I have seen children become orphans, mothers become childless, wives become widows and members of a generation with a lot to offer, forever silenced; all because they took me for granted. I never wanted this to happen, I never wanted to cause such trauma, but now I can change a person’s life forever. I cannot control what you do with me, but you can. I am 5 seconds, spend me wisely.