Youth Forward Scholarship 2019 – The Times are Changing!

Name: Ray Ann Bell
From: Louisville, Kentucky
Grade: Freshman in college
School: Bellarmine University
Votes: 0

Times are changing!

“Teenage Driver” is a term that can bring up many conversations.
From safety to freedom, from insurance cost to independence. Teens
are celebrating while parents are worrying and insurance companies
are raising rates!

With an increase
in driving fatalities, driver’s education has never been more
important. As teenagers, our brains are not yet fully developed.
Current research shows that brains are not fully developed until the
age of 25. Until that age, teens and young adults are using a more
emotional thought process rather than a reasonable one. With this
knowledge, I would assume that trying to invoke teens on an EMOTIONAL
level may have the greatest positive impact on responsible driving.
Perhaps sharing previous stories, videos, perhaps listening to public
speakers on stories of driving accidents, visiting traumatic crash
scenes, like the site of the Carrolton Kentucky Drunk Driving Crash
(The worst drunk driving accident in history)

Teenagers forget.
So repetitive access to safe driving information is imperative.
Teens need to be reminded at school, at home, at work to be cautious.
A visual reminder in the car may help as well. Something that can
be seen as soon as a teen gets in the car to remind them to FOCUS and
pay attention. My parents got me a small figurine that rides along
with me on my dashboard. When I see it, I remember the
responsibility I carry while I’m driving.

Another idea for
reducing the number of deaths related to driving would be to update
the state driving testing requirements. In Kentucky the test seems
to be antiquated and it would be beneficial to have the test more
aligned with today’s society. For example, perhaps the written and
driving exam could incorporate ideas for staying focused and cell
phone storage.

Thankfully, I
have not been a driver nor a passenger in any automobile accidents.
However last summer, my mother and sister were hit on a small 2 lane
road, head on by a distracted teenager. Miraculously no one
involved was hurt, but I feel that everyone learned valuable lessons
from this event.

In my opinion, an
important step to becoming a better and safer drivers and influencing
others to do the same is making it a family and friendship affair.
Discussing it could positively influence all of the current and
future drivers of your family. Hold your parents accountable as well!
(Their age demographic is right behind teens for distracted

We can be
assertive if we see behaviors in our friends that are dangerous on
the roads. We need to have to confidence to speak up, offer to
drive, or point out that distraction. The results of staying quiet
could be disastrous.

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