Safe Driving Will Save Your Life

Alex Lippmann, Journalism Student

In the U.S over 37,000 people die in road crashes each year. Safe driving could save so many people’s lives so why don’t we do it? Teenagers take their life for granted when they get into a car and choose to drive unsafely. Nearly 8,000 people are killed in crashes involving drivers ages 16-20. Automobile crashes are one of the leading causes of death for teenagers around the world and it’s mostly due to unsafe driving habits.

Automobile crashes can be prevented. To prevent an accident, you need to know what you should and should not do when you enter a car. One of the most obvious laws is to wear your seat belt. Many people will complain that it is too uncomfortable or “not cool” to wear one, but is is it worth it to risk your life? A seat belt is designed to keep you in your seat if the car comes to a sudden stop so you don’t fly through the windshield. Wearing yourself belt may not seem like a big deal, but it could be the difference between life and death.

Another important habit to keep is to have both hands on the wheel. Some people may think that driving with one hand is the same as driving with two, but that is a false assumption. Having two hands on the wheel while driving allows you to be focused and prepared to react quickly to anything. As a driver, you have the control of your car, but you do not have the control of other drivers on the road. If a car swerves towards you or someone runs out in front of you, you need to be able to react. It’s very difficult to do that if you are driving with one hand.

One of the most important rules for car safety is do not use your phone while driving! That text, Snapchat, direct message, or song change can wait. Using your phone while at the wheel is not just putting yourself in danger, it is putting every person on the road and the people around you in danger. Your life is more important than the things that are on your phone. Put your phone in the back seat or somewhere you can’t reach it. Lose the temptation of checking  Snapchat or answering a text or call. It not that important and it can always wait until you reach your destination.

Here at Pennridge, we try to promote safe driving throughout the school. We have things like Seatbelt Safety Week and in the past have had assemblies talking about safe driving. In our parking lots, we have security guards checking and making sure everyone is driving safe. When you are able to understand the real importance of safe driving, it will make all of the difference in how you choose to drive. Erin Moyer, a senior at Pennridge said, “You are given this freedom of driving, but people need to take it seriously. You are putting the lives of the people around you at risk, as well as the lives of anyone in the car with you, including yourself. Safe driving is important so that less accidents occur and less lives are taken due to accidents. ”

Every year, the day before the junior prom, the junior class is called down to the auditorium for an assembly on distracted driving. Joel Feldman, distracted driving speaker and safe driving advocate, dedicates his time to speak about his life and how unsafe driving has affected his life. Joel Feldman’s daughter, Casey Feldman, was killed by a distracted driver at age 21 in 2009. Now, he travels the country giving presentations to high school students about the importance distracted driving. His goal is communicate to students that these tragedies caused by distracted driving are completely preventable. He chooses to speak to high school students so he can prevent habits from being formed at a young age. Feldman said, “High school students listen better than their parents. Young people are flexible and caring.” Feldman’s presentation is emotionally compelling, yet informative. His story has the ability to change people’s perspective on distracted driving and how the mindless decision can have a lifelong impact on yourself and others. “You’re driving for the people you’re going to leave behind if anything bad happens,” he said. The fact that this presentation is given to students every year shows how Pennridge is prioritizing the safety of their students, especially when is comes to driving.