Driver Education Initiative Award – Summer 2019 – Another Life Lost

Name: Wesley Luong
From: Union City, California
Grade: Eleventh Grade
School: James Logan High School
Votes: 6

An arbitrary number, without context. Put into perspective, the
mere fact that 34,000 lives are lost solely in America as a result of
automobile accidents is absolutely soul-crushing. Driving a car
should be an inherent skill that one learns to perfect from when they
first acquire the skill. However, the sobering reminder that tens of
thousands of lives are lost as a result of this fundamental skill
raises a concerning inquiry: What steps can be taken to reduce the
number of vehicular fatalities?

certain key procedures are taken for granted in favor of the driver’s
convenience, often forsaking the driver’s safety. Small actions
like buckling one’s seat belt, refusing to send texts, and keeping
both hands steady are often forgotten, written off as useless and a
waste of time. As the Association for Safe International Road Travel
asserts, the key in reducing road collisions lies in the most
minuscule of checks, including the importance of seat-belt use, the
inherent danger of texting and driving, and the practice of keeping
both hands steady on the wheel.

myself, have lost someone close to me as a result of roadside
negligence. Beginning from elementary school, I’ve always had Kyle
Chen, my amazing best friend. Kyle was a hero to me. I reminisce
about the carefree days where we would run around the park and play
until our legs gave out from exhaustion. I remember the days in high
school we would laugh at each other as struggled to complete the
day’s homework. We were interconnected, inseparable. Despite
being an only child, I felt as if Kyle was my closest friend, and a
beloved brother. We built each other up in times of adversity, and
celebrated each other’s achievements. I had envisioned living the
rest of my life out with Kyle, hoping to experience the thrill of
life, just like in years’ past. As I sat in my room, phone in
hand, tears running down my forlorn face, those aspirations
shattered. I had gotten a call, on the day of Kyle birthday, that he
had passed away due to an accidental car crash.

went through a turbulent period in the following months. I combated
depression and anxiety as I tried to rationalize Kyle’s passing.
It was after many tortuous periods of introspection that I realized
Kyle would want me to live on through my own life, in spite of the
loss of his own. Motivated by this revelation, I made a vow to never
take Kyle’s tragedy for granted. I write this today, still reeling
from the scars left by the cruel hands of fate. I sincerely believe
the mere action of irresponsible driving begets tragedy and the loss
of life. For the sake of your loved ones, your community, and the
world, please practice safe driving routines. Through this, we can
start a global revolution of driver safety. We can prevent another
needless death. We can prevent another senseless tragedy. We can
prevent another life from being lost.

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