Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – It Can’t Happen To Me

Name: Kelsey Lynn Gillette
From: New Tripoli, Pennsylvania
Grade: 11
School: Northwestern Lehigh High School
Votes: 0

When
listening to a speaker come in and share their experience with
reckless drivers, most students are sitting there and thinking to
themselves “that could never be me”. When parents are at a bar
with some friends finishing up their last drink before they leave,
they often think “Oh I don’t have to drive that far, nothing is
going to happen to me”. But then their children get the call at
12:37 am that their mother and father were just killed in a drunk
driving accident, reality sets in, this can happen to anyone. Most
don’t realize that about 1 in 4 people will end up in an automobile
accident, but as a society are will to take the chance of playing the
lottery because “it could be me”. For some reason however, this
same rationelle does not come to mind when we are toying with our own
lives.

When
educating young children about the dangers of driving, especially
those that are eager to take to the roads, it can be difficult to get
through to them about the dangers of blasting the music and shouting
the lyrics. I believe that a real life simulation, or even a video of
the inside of a car when it is involved in a suprise accident could
give them the feeling of this actually happening, without the actual
experience. Instilling the feeling in these young adults of shock
that they would feel could possibly be enough to realize that even
the smallest actions could have the largest consequences.

I
have had a very traumatic experience with distracted driving, these
being with some of my great friends from my high school. We were
going out to eat after a basketball game and I was driving in the car
behind them. The driver in the car in front of me was speeding and
swerving around the road trying to be cool. He was also on his phone.
We came to a stoplight that was red, and when it turned green, he
accelerated too quickly, and his car lost traction. The car teetered
onto one side and hit the car in the lane next to it, and flipped
twice. Both passengers kept their lives, although having physical and
mental damage. That experience has really shaped me as a driver and
made me conscious of my mindless actions while driving.

Some
steps that I always take to be a better driver is to turn my phone
off while I drive, and anytime I think of picking it up, even if it
would be quick, I remind myself that one second of looking at my
phone could cost me my life. Some other steps would be to continue to
enforce driver safety training for all ages, not just high school
students. I know a fair share of parents do not practice what they
preach, and go on their phones while they are driving. All ages are
affected by distracted driving, so it is necessary for training.


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