Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – Staying in the Safe Lane

Name: Sarah Spencer
From: Rockwall, Texas
Grade: 11th
School: Rockwall High School
Votes: 0

Staying
in the Safe Lane

By:
Sarah Spencer

When
it comes to being in front of the wheel, most of us blow off the
possibility that we could be the next victim of the road, as nothing
can ever happen when we are in control, right? Think again. With
everyone on the road having this mindset, driving education is
bypassed as unnecessary and pointless, yet 34,000 lives are taken
each year as a result. How different would the data of these
casualties be if everyone took their role as a driver seriously? The
hard truth is that whether you have been in a fender bender or not,
driving affects everyone on the road, and should be treated with
responsibility by taking the time to become educated.

On
January 7, 2017, I got a life-changing text informing me that Ally
Hooten, the sister of my best friend had been in an accident earlier
that day and did not make it. Upon further investigation, the police
confirmed that while Ally and her sister were innocently riding in an
ATV, a drunk truck driver carelessly swerved too far off the side of
the highway, hitting the girls from behind. The impact from the 18
wheeler snapped Ally’s neck, killing her instantly as she fell onto
her sister’s lap. There are no words that can describe the grief
and heartache that followed. Comforting my best friend consisted of
endless tears for weeks that left us drained and fatigued. I can only
imagine that January 7th would have been drastically different, had
that truck driver understood the consequences of drunk driving, or
even taken the time to pull over at a rest stop until he sobered up.

All
of this to say, there are endless amounts of ways to avoid being the
cause of an accident, as well as protecting yourself from one. Drunk
driving is among one of the leading causes of wrecks, and can easily
be avoided by making a decision not to drink prior to being on the
road, or even to have a designated driver at hand. Another issue is
becoming groggy while the drive continues. By pulling over somewhere
and taking a small nap, or simply getting enough rest the night
before, you are ensuring that your part is done in preventing an
accident. Listening to the radio while you drive can also help one to
stay awake and alert, and having a passenger can keep the driver
accountable. Being a defensive driver means always being on the
lookout for possible conflicts, as well as doing your part to prevent
a tragedy by incorporating methods that work for you to keep your
drive safe.

I
believe that with every action I take to make myself a better driver,
I am lessening the chances of being involved in a wreck. I know from
experience that safety on the road should be valued, and I will
continue my education of driving, as it ensures that I am more
confident in my ability to keep myself and others safe.


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