Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Safe Driving: Everyone’s Responsibilty

Name: Victoria A. Byrd
From: Gautier, Mississippi
Grade: 11
School: victoria.byrd2019@pgsd.ms
Votes: 0

National
Driving and Traffic School Scholarship

Safe
Driving: Everyone’s Responsibility”

Victoria
A. Byrd

I
never knew my beloved aunt, my mother’s only sister. I say
‘beloved’ because stories told about her details her loving
kindness, calm demure, inner-beauty. Everyone held her in high
esteem. My aunt was killed by a drunk driver over 20 years ago. In
2014, my mother was hit at a four way stop by an elderly lady who ran
the stop sign. I and my grandmother were in the car and witnessed the
accident. The lady told the police officer that she had the right of
way…that she was at the stop sign first, and my mother ran the stop
sign. Because of the angle of the collision, the police claims he
could not determine fault. The lady did not receive a ticket;
however, my mom’s insurance premium increased. Lastly, I was with
my mother in route to school one day when we witnessed a girl
rear-end another car. We’d just talked about the girl texting while
driving a moment earlier.

These
are examples of driving accidents with results ranging from traffic
citations, costly car repairs and increased insurance premiums to the
ultimate outcome of death. The common denominator in each was a
driver who was incapacitated or inattentive. The solution to
reduce
the number of deaths as a result of driving

and have better drivers on today’s roads and highways include
driver
education for teens in their learning stages. In addition, the
mindset that a licensed driver is an expert driver has to be changed.
Driver’s education continues ongoing. Why? Because driving is the
ultimate problem solving scenario that involves intuition, mental
clarity and critical thinking skills. Drivers are constantly
anticipating other drivers, mentally mapping out best case scenarios
when in major traffic. “When do I pass?” “Can I move in between
these two cars?” “How do I strategically cross several lanes of
traffic to get in a turn lane?” Driving requires concentration and
thought which is why drinking or texting while driving and driving
while sleepy is so dangerous. Impaired thinking and mental
distractions affect one’s ability to drive responsibly.

Losing
a family member (who I never had the opportunity to know) and
experiencing the aftermath of an auto accident have made me more
conscientious when I take the wheel. I take necessary steps to be a
better and safer driver, i.e. getting proper rest before embarking on
an extended drive; scheduling sufficient travel time to school and
other destinations so that I will not have to rush; not texting while
driving; not talking on the phone while driving; and of course
observing rules of driving. Additionally, I help others become safer
on the road by admonishing my friends to not to use the phone while
driving when I am with them. These are the ways I endeavor to be a
responsible driver and be an example to others.


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