Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – The Impact

Name: Fiona G. Graham
From: Bremerton, Washington
Grade: 11th
School: Olympic High School
Votes: 0

The Impact

My community has been greatly impacted by deaths as a result of
vehicular accidents. In the last five years alone, four students that
have attended my high school have been killed while driving, or as a
passenger of an irresponsible driver. The aftermath the loss of these
young souls left on our community still resonates in our community to
this day. We will always remember the OLY 4, but somehow, the cause
of their death has not been as impactful. Situations like these are
not unique to Kitsap County, they happen all over the world every
day. While their loss is mourned by the community for the following
days and weeks, many people realize that their life ended too soon,
and was caused by a preventable accident.

One of the most important gifts that can be given to a new driver is
a proper driving education. One that covers not just the basics of
safe driving, but also the responsibility and danger that comes with
a set of keys. Things like driving under the influence and
distracted driving need to be covered and showcased, highlighting the
impact that could have on not only the driver, but also every other
driver and person on the road. In my community, driving courses are
taught by former police officers. They are able to share their
stories and tell about the reason many laws are in place; to keep
people safe. In a way, they scare the students into driving safely
when they recite the horrors they saw while on the job. They have
more insight into the day to day effects of driving accidents.
Another way to keep people safe on the roads and reduce the number of
needless deaths is to continually educate people about driving
appropriately. Driving school should not end after a few simple
courses. It should continue at least on an annual schedule, requiring
drivers to get a refresher on the rules of the road, even if it just
for a few hours. By reciting these rules, drivers are more likely to
keep in mind the safety of everybody while they are behind the wheel.
Role models and guardians of children also have the responsibility of
setting a good example of how to drive appropriately. After all,
influence is the best way to teach proper behavior.

Not even three months after I got my license, a fellow student from
my school rear ended me on the way to school. She fled, but when
confronted, she said she was simply trying to change the song on her
phone, like it was no big deal. We were both lucky in that nothing
really damaging happened, but the fact of the matter is, there should
have been no reason for her to hit my car. She should never have
touched her phone while behind the wheel. Simple lessons like this
will greatly impact the number of deaths caused by driving. Following
the rules of the road is the best path.

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