Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Driving On the Navajo Reservation

Name: Jayla McIntosh
From: St. Michaels, Arizona
Grade: Sophomore
School: Ganado High School
Votes: 0

Jayla McIntosh

I have experienced someone being in a car accident, but it was a
complete stranger. It happened on the highway near my turnoff to my
neighborhood located in a small town on the Navajo reservation in
Arizona. On our way home from a football, a giant diesel followed
closely behind us till we hit the first sign of lights signaling that
we’re entering into town and the road is coming into two lanes. The
diesel forcefully drove into the left lane of the road and speed
drastically ahead of us. There is a gas station on the left side of
the highway and as we came closer to it, a little white car drove
towards the side of our lanes and suddenly there was huge crash. The
diesel was gone from my peripheral vision and I looked behind me and
there a huge gust of dirt and gas clashed together. The driver in the
white vehicle was only 20-years old and broke both of his legs and
was in recovery for several months. The diesel driver about 40-years
old and now suffers with back pain since the accident. It was a
tragic and devastating experience not only for those who were in the
accident, but their families and close love ones. This is a crucial
situation for anyone to experience and it is important to spread
awareness to reduce the outbreaks of unsafe driving.

Living on the Navajo Reservation, driver’s education isn’t taken
as serious as it is outside of the reservation because of the very
limited law enforcement employees. There is a plethora of Native
Americans who are over 18 years old and don’t have a drivers’
license or even underaged drivers without a permit. A driver without
an education is an accident waiting to happen because of their lack
of knowledge of the different rules and speculations the driver must
accommodate. The driver has an important job to uphold the trust and
safety for the passengers and other drivers around them. As simple as
spreading awareness and acknowledging safe driving in both on the
reservations and outside, would increase the chances of preventable
car accidents.

Not much
educational endeavor is impeded toward drivers in today’s society.
I suggest that the education in the U.S should increase drastically
towards both veteran and novice drivers. To accomplish this, I would
want to form a safe driving program to notify adolescents’ by
demonstrating the facts and information about the importance of safe
driving starting in my community then incorporating it across the
country. I would also associate adults to be aware of safe driving
through public programs and even create therapy program to help with
traumatic experienced drivers, their family members, or their loved
ones in coping with their mental or emotional state of being.


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