It is always so sad to hear of the death of high school students as a result of a car accident. It seems that such deaths should be ‘preventable.’
When parents tell teenagers to be careful when they are out driving, they are often accused of being over-protective. Parents search for ways to make them understand the dangers. If they were skiing, and went down a run that was way beyond their ability level, they would likely be a little scared, and might not make that run again until they were more experienced. They naturally sense when the combination of the speed and the slope is too much for them to remain in control.
In an automobile its different. You may not get much warning when things start to go out of control, and by then it may be much too late to change the course of events. Yes the highway may be clear, with only light traffic, and so they see no reason to stick to the speed limit. They may have driven too fast many times, and nothing ever happened, so they feel confident at higher speeds. However, if the vehicle happens to hit the gravel at the side of the road, in an instant the car can be overturned in a ditch.
If there is alcohol involved, it is more likely that there will be speeding, and a greater likelihood of driving errors. Having several friends in the car can increase the chances of accidents because of the distractions. Even the toughest teens would get nervous if someone was waving a loaded gun around, but might feel its wimpy to tell someone to slow down or to get out from behind the wheel. Both situations, obviously, can be deadly.
Many teens are very responsible about not drinking and driving, but this responsible attitude only holds while one is sober. Then there are those who get in a car and think they are race car drivers or stunt drivers. Screeching wheels and racing engines off of a racetrack are not cool, and reflect that the driver is either young and silly or old and dumb. A vehicle, in the hands of either, becomes a dangerous weapon.
The case for responsible driving cannot be overstated. To be young and wild might be exciting. To be young, wild and dead is another story. Please don’t let it be yours.
Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
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