Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – The Lessons Driving Safe

Name: Jaden McCowan
From: West Allis, WI
Grade: Freshman in College
School: Arizona State University
Votes: 0

a child my parents always taught me that driving was a privilege, and
a very dangerous one at that. Their descriptions of 2,000 pound
death machines was a thought that scared me so much I learned to
respect them at an extremely young age. Now that I’m of age and
have my drivers license I completely understand what they were
talking about. Many close calls and uncomfortable situations later
and I’m so happy I received proper driving education before getting
my license. The classes and behind the wheel lessons I received
allowed me to be comfortable the first time I drove alone, these
classes teach us the proper ways to drive and be safe on the roads,
thus saving millions of lives everyday. Once our classes are over,
lessons are forgotten, and bad habits are created we must take steps
in order to keep roads safe. These steps are things that are very
easy to do, but most are not able to oblige to these standards.
Things like not texting, staying at the speed limit, being patient,
and always knowing your surroundings is the key to keeping the roads
safe. These steps allow for everyone to continue to jam out with
friends on a long road trip, have awkward silences on a first date,
and get from point A to point B in our beloved cars. This topic is
very serious to me because in my sophomore year of high school, my
best friend had just gotten his license. There were five of us in
his car, it was a Friday, we were all extremely excited to hang out
during the weekend. We had music playing and all of us were having a
good time when suddenly we were at an intersection. An incredibly
busy intersection. My life truly flashed before my eyes as he made
his left turn, I’d been in a car before making a left hand turn
before, but this one just felt different. I began to look to my
right and the next thing I knew, we were spun out and all wondering
what happened. I was sitting in the front passenger seat, I looked
down and my door was all the way caved in, it was the only thing
stopping the red van from touching my body. When I looked down my
legs were pinned between the caved in door and the center console,
blood was all over my legs. My life came back to fruition and I
wasn’t sure what happened, I looked to my left and my friends face
was ghost like–his voice trembling, he told me “I’m so sorry,
are you ok?” I’ll never forget that moment, the look of regret,
pain, and worry in his face. I promised myself I would never let
that happen to me, and that is why I will take the steps to remain
safe while driving, to not only save my life but the lives of
everyone around me.

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