Speed Demons This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Too many teens are involved in car accidents. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for ages 5-32. In 1992 alone, 5,717 teens between the ages of 16 and 20 died, 75,000 suffered incapacitating injuries, and 161,000 received non-incapacitating injuries in car accidents. Going to a high school where some students drive recklessly, it is possible to believe these statistics. Many teens don't realize the consequences of speeding and dangerous driving. Teenage drivers are not only risking their own lives, but also the lives of innocent drivers and their families. As much as they may believe it, teenage drivers are not invincible. This attitude causes some teens to act without thinking or using good judgment. Even if new drivers are cautious and drive safely, they may not have enough experience to make split-second decisions to avoid accidents. No one can control other drivers, but every new driver should know what to do when another driver is endangering his life.

When my mom was a teenager, she was involved in an accident. Her friend (who was driving) and my mom were on their way to see a friend. As they approached a red light, my mom's friend accidentally stepped on the gas pedal instead of the brake. In the crash my mom was knocked unconscious but, luckily, neither she nor her friend was permanently injured. My mom's friend just made a simple mistake due to her lack of experience.

On the way to school just this morning, I witnessed another car accident. We were waiting at a light. When it finally changed, the first car started through the intersection, then stalled. Unfortunately, the next car (driven by a teenager) was so close that he plowed right into the back. Neither driver was injured, but this is another example of how some teenage drivers are too careless. If the driver had waited a split second longer, he could have had enough room to stop without causing an accident.

Today, many organizations have been formed to educate and make teenage drivers more aware of the dangers of speeding and reckless driving. One organization, Parents Against Speeding Teens (P.A.S.T.), has helped pass stricter penalties for reckless driving in its home state of New Hampshire. The organizers of the P.A.S.T. say, "We do not want to punish all teenagers, but we need to set some tougher penalties and bring more awareness to the problem. Hopefully, this will save their lives and those of innocent people." Maryland also needs tougher penalties. Speeders should pay higher fines, and first-time reckless driving offenders should have licenses suspended for varying time periods depending upon the violation.

I feel that the driving age should be increased. Most teenagers don't need to drive a car during high school. In addition to the higher driving age, I strongly suggest that before a new driver receives a license, he should have many more hours of practice behind the wheel than are now required. If stricter penalties were implemented along with tougher driving license requirements, many accidents would be prevented. ?


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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flipper said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 9:37 am
what the heck this aint about a demon man.
 
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