Name: Zachary Zwanzig
From: Chattaroy, Wa
When someone dies
in a car accident, onlookers feel sad but do not always feel the
impact of the tragedy. The person who died is someone’s child,
someone’s parent, someone’s best friend. Many people see the
death as just another statistic. That is until someone they know is
in an accident. Car accidents are a major problem in the US, but
every problem can be solved. The solution to auto-accidents can be
found in education and preparation before going into the world.
My uncle Joe was
driving his motorcycle after a date with his then-girlfriend Debbie
when another driver hit them with his truck. Debbie now has chronic
hip, back, and leg problems. My uncle did not survive the accident.
My family still remembers him and visits the cite of the accident
every year. I never got to meet my uncle, but I feel the connection
to him whenever my mom tells me, “Joe used to do the same thing”
and smiles. I wish I could have met my uncle, but I never will. The
only thing I can do is try to stop others from having to lose a loved
one to an avoidable accident.
The biggest way to
stop these tragedies is through education and preparation. Drivers
Education classes are offered to fifteen-year-old students. They
attend the classes and learn the intricacies of the car and how to
drive. They learn the “Rules of the Road” and what laws they must
follow. Many students, however, do not take these classes very
seriously. They tune out the boring classes and do not listen to
anything serious, only wanting to pay attention to the joys of
driving. Students lose the lessons on driving preparations and what
to do in certain situations.
If people knew how
to react to dangerous situations, accidents would be reduced greatly.
Education about how to drive is important in preparing people on how
to escape and altogether avoid dangerous circumstances. In winter, if
a driver understands the intricacies and nuances of driving and has
the schooling on how to drive safely, they can escape a nasty spin
they may have entered when crossing some black ice. If a driver went
into that spin with no knowledge or understanding of how to escape
it, they could make the problem worse and be a danger to themselves
and other drivers by launching further out of control.
With US highway
casualties on the rise, up some 1,000 deaths per year since 2011,
action needs to be taken. Ultimately, it comes down to a choice.
Deaths happen, and they are always personal to someone. The only way
to fix the problem is for each individual to take it upon themselves
to learn and understand the ways to safely maneuver a car and help
themselves and others in risky situations. I can help keep people
from never knowing their nephew who looks up to them by furthering
the education and understanding of driving.