A Teens Quick Guide to Driving

As people drive everyday, the vast majority aware that they are propelling a couple tons of solid mass at high speeds with the eloquent compression of the gas pedal. In fact, every time you speed up, you are continually increasing your vehicle’s potential force upon impact. This is what angers me the most, other drivers’ ignorances towards their capability of causing fatal destruction with their car. Now imagine adding other factors such as texting, or reckless driving and especially driving a vehicle under the influence of some sort of drug or alcoholic substance.

Those are the people that cause accidents, not only for themselves, but also for the unfortunate, safe and responsible drivers, which is why I am writing this brief guide for teenagers so that an accident could be avoided. Some of my experiences while driving for the past 2 and a half years have humbled me to the point where I started to adapt my own driving habits. From my years of observation, even before I had begun to drive, I noticed that people on the road lack the basic human virtue of courtesy. It almost seems like there is a complete disconnect between their own life and personality and their driving habits. For instance, in reality, everyone wants to get from point A to B the quickest, even if it translates to speeding, which increases the chances of an automobile accident by 50%, for every 10 mph over 50 mph.

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Also, it seems that people wants to speed in a parking lot and claim a spot even if there are pedestrians. I know what you’re thinking, that you too make these mistakes, but in real life, everyone is guilty of such an act. The ways I see it is that it would be cheaper, safer, and wiser to allow the so-called “idiot-drivers” to go first at a stop sign or when you know that you have the right of way, but the other guys isn’t aware. Therefore the first guide to being a safe driver is being a courteous one. Another major issue that I have noted, is that peoples’ driving reflect their personalities, which is often dangerous to not only those drivers, but also to the others on the road.

Unless you were a robot, you wouldn’t be able to completely switch off your emotions from the way you drive. If you are angry, you would typically drive a bit more aggressively that if you were calm, therefore the second guide is being able to isolate emotions from actions in order to reduce the chance of an accident. Furthermore, there is a whole psychological aspect to driving which is very important to being able to understand the other drivers’ motives and what you should anticipate so that you can react accordingly. Also, in being immersed in this psychology, you can also be aware of your own actions and signals so others don’t stress such as when you drive beside someone else in the adjacent lane and going at the same speed. Personally, this freaks me out so much, which is why I either speed up or slow down. Also, often times, when you attempt to slow down intentionally to have the guy behind you to back off, they only manage to pass you, speed up, and cut in front sharply, which is probably more dangerous (and illegal), than the original crime.

In this case, if possible, switch to the other lane and have that maniac pass by without difficulty. By far, one of the most dangerous activities to partake in while driving is texting, which is a major distraction which greatly affects driving performance. Believe it or not, drivers are always being distracted, almost as much as half the time. Distractions on the road are estimated to be associated with 15 to 25 percent of crashes in the state of Florida. Texting all in all increases the crash risk more than it is with cell phone usage, based on existing research conducted by the Florida Highway Patrol. Therefore, cell phones and other distractions should be avoided at all costs, even if it means having to pull over on the side of the road to make a phone call or text someone, because in the first place, it is against the law, but most importantly, people are killed because of this simple action.

Driving under the influence, or DUI, as many are familiar with, accounts for about 1,200 deaths a year on average, including not only the driver who is under the influence of an alcoholic or other substance, but also the unfortunate people are there in the wrong place at the wrong time. I have heard many emotional stories regarding such cases, for instance, one family that goes to my church had recently gone on vacation and upon returning, got into a serious accident on I-95 with a drunk teenage girl. Their younger daughter died and their son is permanently brain damaged and paralyzed. This inconsiderate act led to much sorrow and grief over the loss of lives and loved ones. If more people would just drive with the mindset of being considerate of other drivers, then the number of accidents would be reduced dramatically, but as long as people indulge in alcohol and drugs and mix it with driving, with their selfish mentality, then nothing will happen.

The sad part about it, is that there is a plethora of laws to stop this but aren’t enforced well enough, for I myself see people swerving back and forth on the road and my own alert signals go off, telling me to stay well clear of that vehicle. This in my opinion is the most dangerous ingredient to add to driving for it is a distraction that takes over your whole thought process, basically controlling your body, which can prove fatal to not only you but to the other drivers. In conclusion, drugs/ alcohol should be avoided when driving, making them two separate activities, even if it means taking a taxi or asking for a ride, as well as driving defensively, always anticipating an accident and to to know how to handle such a situation. In closing, driving to me is like an art form, very complex and detailed, but without that, the final picture doesn’t look good. It is quintessential to not only know the laws of the road, but to also obey them religiously, because yes, there are laws regarding all of the tips mentioned above, but laws are only useless unless followed by everyone, the key word being everyone. Unfortunately, not everyone does, therefore in you doing so, you increase both your safety on the road as well as for other drivers.

Like I said, in following these basic guidelines, your driving could becomes worry-free and most importantly, safer.