Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Making Tomorrow Safer: Keep Your Eyes On The Road

Name: Ireland Belle Cook
From: Berea, Kentucky
Grade: 12
School: Madison Southern High School
Votes: 0

Making
Tomorrow Safer: Keep Your Eyes On The Road

Ireland
Cook

16.

To
many teenagers, turning 16 means getting your license, getting behind
the wheel of your new car, and feeling the freedom of not relying on
your parents to drive you everywhere. Even with Driver’s Ed classes
and having a representative from State Farm show a video on safe
driving, that doesn’t always necessarily challenge students.
Driver’s Ed only mets every so often, and the videos are so dated
that no new driver connects to it, making these drivers feel cocky
and confident of their driving as they believe that nothing like the
video can ever happen. But the truth is, accidents like those videos
happen everyday. In 2018, seventeen year old Jagger Smith, was
drinking MD 20/20 (fortified wine) before getting behind the wheel
with two 16 year old girls. The car crashed, killing the girls
instantly. He was later charged of intoxication manslaughter.
Accidents like this happens everyday in the United States, more than
what we want to see. Driving seminars and school sponsored driving
lessons are essential to making these young, inexperienced drivers,
safe drivers.

With
so many distractions like phones and music, teenagers are easily
distracted on anything besides the road ahead. You always see
teenagers with earbuds in their ears, or their eyes cast down on
their phone while they text. There are safety videos on the dangers
of texting, or getting drunk behind the wheel, but do people really
take them seriously like they should. All the time, I hear classmates
say, “I never do that, I’m great at driving,” while in reality,
I see them pull out into traffic while they look on their phones. And
while Driver’s Ed is helpful to get experience, it rarely ever
meets, maybe once every other two months, if that. Driver’s Ed can
help so many new drivers, if they only met up more often than they
already do.

There
are simple steps to take to help prevent deaths like in the Jagger
Smith case from happening. Steps as simple as hiding your phone away
from you line of sight, keeping both hands on the wheel, and keeping
concentrating on the road. There are apps for phones that sends texts
to various people, letting them know that you are driving and can’t
talk at the moment. Laws are even cracking down on selling alcohol to
minors and charging those who do. The more teenagers are getting
behind the wheel, there are programs and modern ways to decrease the
number of deaths caused by distracted and drunk driving.

Driving
for teenagers is a privilege, not a right. When lives are cut short
by decisions made by kids like Jagger Smith, it makes the reality
more real to others. Expanding driving programs like Driver’s Ed
and modernizing videos and apps, deaths by distracted drivers can
decrease, allowing others to bring awareness to the problem, and
allow closure to those affected by distracted teenage drivers.


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