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Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Hands On 9 and 3, As Safe As Can Be

Name: Hugo Barberis
From: Holden, MA
Grade: 11th
School: Wachusett Regional High School
Votes: 0

It only takes a
split second to permanently change the lives of a multitude of
people. In the United States, car crashes are the third leading cause
of death. Is the solution to stop driving? Well, as much as that
would help the environment, no. The immense amount of deaths and
injuries caused by car crashes highlight the importance of driver
education, as well as the need to alter the culture surrounding
driving.

Driver education is
undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of ensuring safety on
the roads. Firstly, in the Driver’s Education Course, individuals
learn the rules of the road. This promotes an understanding of how
driving works, in an attempt to reduce accidents that could have been
easily avoided. Furthermore, a properly educated driver knows the
true dangers behind driving intoxicated, while sleepy, and even under
poor weather conditions. The knowledge obtained by a properly
educated driver is enough to prevent many deaths, because of his/her
knowledge of the road and safe driving habits.

I believe that the
first step to reducing the number of deaths related to driving is to
change the driving culture. As I see it, many individuals,
specifically teenagers, view driving as either “fun” or as a kind
of “joke,” resulting in the mentality that they are invincible to
any accidents. Because these habits of driving recklessly, sometimes
with cell phones and under the influence of alcohol or drugs begin
with teenagers, I believe that efforts should be made to change the
teenage driving culture. It is necessary to promote the concept that
any use of a cell phone while driving is a poor habit, rather than
just texting. For example, I often see my friends using Snapchat or
calling others while driving, and they consider this acceptable
because it is not texting. Another way to change the youth driving
culture would be to have flashy advertisements on social media sites
such as Twitter and Instagram that remind teenagers, among others,
that driving while intoxicated is unacceptable. For example, in my
personal experience, I have seen the concept of a “Designated
Driver” disappear. Whether drinking alcohol or using Cannabis
products, I have seen driving under the influence become accepted
among teenagers. I believe that a successful change of teenage
culture would have long-lasting effects in terms of reducing the
number of driving-related deaths.


In order to personally become a safer driver, I need to stop driving
under a time constraint. This causes me to drive while stressed,
often going above the speed limit. In terms of what I can do to help
others drive safely, I should express my thoughts in a serious manner
when I am with someone driving recklessly, because this will have an
effect on their own mentality, hopefully ameliorating their driving
habits bit by bit. In conclusion, driver education and the change of
teenage driving culture are crucial in reducing the number of
driving-related deaths.


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