September 1977


Teen drivers risk death
by Tina Prodyma

     Everyone under the age of 16 shares a common goal: getting that tiny card known as a driver's license. Once the license is obtained, the car is like a second home for most of us.
     When I finally got my license, I asked for the car constantly, and still do. Driving gives us all a felling of power and independence. Teenagers perform daring maneuvers with cars; speeding down streets, doing donuts, etc. The car becomes a toy to us; unfortunately though, it's a dangerous one.
     Teenagers are involved in twice as many fatal accident as drivers over 25. Just think of the kids you know who have been involved in driving accidents. Sometimes the accident only produces a small dent on the side of the car, but often, it results in death.
     One of the saddest things is to see a young person dying. The leading cause of death for our age group is accidents. One of the most valued possessions we have can kill us just like that--as fast and as easy as we step on an ant.
     Of course everybody loves the thrill of zooming down the road in a card, with the wind whipping your hair all over and cooling your face. But the few minutes after an accident--how many people enjoy that moment? Probably not many, unless you like inflicting pain on yourself.
     But it's hard to suppress the urge, when there's a brand new Trans Am tempting you, to give it the magic touch. But think of how that card will look after it's wiped out on a tree.
     Most of us remember classroom in Driver's Education is spent sitting there bored while one of the teachers endlessly repeats statistics. But statistics aren't convincing. They're just numbers that are thrown at you, and it's hard to relate them to life. So think of all the cars and kids that are totaled in accidents.
     Most of us haven't even lived half of our lives. Life is too short as it is. I'm sure we all values our lives. But everyone thinks, "Oh, that couldn't happen to me." You're wrong. I'm sure that victims of fatal accidents didn't think it would happen to them either.
     If you don't care about your own life, then respect the rights of others. No one wants to clean up the blood mess that resulted from an accident. And flowers to send to funerals are extremely expensive. Also, looking at mangled bodies would upset anybody's dinner.
     So, be careful next time you're out cruising around. Try not to drive home from a party if you're in bad condition. Above all, realize that a car can be your special passport to the nearest cemetery, and you'll be the star of the funeral.