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Taking Driving for Granted This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   On September 13, 1999, a man woke up and got in his truck to drive to work, justlike any other day, or so he thought. Instead he made a choice that changed hislife and the lives of my family forever. Instead of paying complete attention tohis driving, he let himself be distracted. He wasn't watching and ran a redlight. But he didn't just run a red light - he hit a car and killed mygrandmother. She was taken from my family in just an instant.

Accidentslike this happen all over the world, all the time. If we could reduce thedistractions we face while driving, we could avoid many accidents and deaths. Wedon't realize the seriousness of driving until it's too late.

Driving isan activity we take for granted. Many of us don't know how we would survivewithout our vehicles. We just get in and go. What if that was taken away? Howwould we function if we no longer had the privilege of driving? Would we walk,ride a bike, or maybe even a horse? Before the automobile, people had to useother modes of transportation, but now automobiles are the most common. With somany behind the wheel, we should focus more on the responsibilities of operatinga vehicle.

When we get in our cars, we are often distracted. We talk tofriends, watching them instead of the road. We listen to music, using one hand toflip the dials and taking our eyes off the road to find our favorite station. Wesit with one hand holding our cell phones and the other trying to steer,sometimes swerving into other lanes. I've seen people at red lights so interestedin their conversations that they don't even notice when the light turns greenuntil someone else honks. We allow ourselves to be distracted in so many waysthat we focus on anything but driving.

Please - be careful out there.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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