We hear about it on the news, and many of us have experienced it firsthand: car crashes claiming the lives of young people. We hear them being called, “accidents,” and think gloomily, “Accidents happen…another day, another tragedy.”
But this needs to change. This is where you come in. This is how we start a revolution.
First, we stop calling them accidents, because they are not caused by involuntary, inevitable mistakes. As a teen, you are more likely to die in a car crash than any other way, but the truth is that you are as powerful as you are vulnerable, because most of these crashes involve voluntary choices. You have the power to make the choices that will keep you alive.
A whopping 75% of teen fatal crashes do not have anything to do with drugs or alcohol, meaning they involve reckless and distracted driving. Texting, applying lip balm, and eating a burger are behaviors that become sinister when chosen to do behind the wheel of a car.
Second step in the revolution: make the conscious commitment to avoid these lethal distractions. If your own mortality is too weird to consider, ask yourself if you could live with knowing your decisions killed someone, a stranger or someone in your car. It’s simple—no distraction is worth it, so sign the pledge and commit to safe driving.
Finally, get your community involved. Spread the message to your peers. Talk to your friends and siblings, your teachers and parents. Distracted and reckless driving is the number one killer of teens in America today, killing more young people than drugs, alcohol, and suicide, but it’s 100% preventable if we all do our part.
Together we can change the culture of driving to one that is distraction-free, saving lives not only in this generation of drivers, but also in all future generations.