Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – 5 Friends Lost, What Could Have Saved Them

Name: Allison Roy
From: Plantsville, Connecticut
Grade: High School Senior
School: Southington High School
Votes: 0

One
of the biggest obstacles everyone encounters at some point throughout
their life is the death of a friend or family member. However,
finding a silver lining in something so tragic is how you learn from
the experience. In the last few years I’ve lost 5 friends due to
car accidents on the highway. Prior to my freshman year, my close
friend Olivia who was only 15 at the time, died in a car crash along
with another girl Annie who was driving. Annie was an inexperienced
driver who only had a learners permit at the time, which resulted in
a high speed crash. Annie wasn’t fully and properly educated on the
rules of driving which ultimately cost the girls their lives. If she
had waited to start driving and had completed driving school I truly
believe Annie would have had more knowledge and realized how driving
is serious. Her death made many kids begin to realize that we’re
not invincible. This opened many people’s eyes, including mine,
that anything can happen in a split second when driving.

In
January 2018, Ty, Moses, and Kerion were being driven home from Long
Island early one morning when the driver Chris fell asleep at the
wheel. Chris was the only survivor who now has to live with the fact
that he killed his three best friends. Ty’s death had a profound
affect on my life. Both Ty and Olivia made me recognize that we all
have to look after ourselves and others. I’ve truly learned how
important it is when driving to never be under the influence,
especially if I’m driving other people. Their lives are in my hands
which is the biggest responsibility. I now always make sure my
friends have safe rides home and never let someone drive under the
influence. I’ve noticed over recent years that Uber has been a
reliable source for people who are drinking because they have a safe
ride afterwards which prevents many car accidents and deaths. I’ve
also informed my friends to call me if they don’t have a safe ride.
I don’t mind picking them up if it means it could prevent another
friend’s funeral that I’d have to attend.

I’ve
seen the effects it has on friends and families when someone dies
unexpectedly from car accidents. Ever since Olivia, and Ty’s deaths
I personally have noticed how friends have changed their opinions on
drinking and driving. This I believe is because children are always
taught how dangerous driving can be, but they never truly understand
the risks or impact of an accident unless they’re experienced it
themselves.

Driving
school educators need to give students real statistics and real
examples in order for them to fully understand how important safe
driving can be. Before my friends’ deaths, I wasn’t always strict
with friends wearing their seatbelts when they’re in the back seat
of my car but after these funerals I’ve never taken my car out of
park until everyone has their seatbelt on. If Ty had been wearing his
seatbelt, he would still be alive today so I always take that
precaution with anyone in my car. The smallest task of clicking their
seatbelt could save their life so I’ll forever enforce that rule
when someone is in my car.


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