When students start to drive at the age of 14, with their parents, are they learning how to be a good driver and how to avoid accidents from happening? Freshman McKenna Nielsen took driver’s education this past summer; “I learned a lot from my parents while driving before I took drivers education. Most of the main things or common sense things, I learned from my parents. The technical things I learned were mostly from drivers education.”
When being a defensive driver -- "driving to save lives, time, and money, in spite of the conditions around you and the actions of others" according to Safe Practices for Motor Vehicle Operations -- Nielsen said she makes sure the mirrors and driver’s seat are adjusted correctly, her seat belt is on, and all passengers have their seat belts on, too. Unfortunately, she has caught friends making bad decisions and asks them to stop. Nielsen avoids making bad decisions while driving and uses "common sense" to stay safe.
Boys and girls get distracted in so many different ways, and a major interference involves texting or talking on the phone while driving. Another serious issue for some adults and even teens is driving while intoxicated. Someone might consider themselves invincible and that they are protected while in their car or truck. But actually if a driver’s reaction time and driving ability is altered, then they can earily end up in a ditch. Friends need to have each others back and not let one another get into a car after drinking.
Cody Bruch, a sophomore at Audubon High School, recently lost a close friend due to an accident. Bruch said because of the loss he has experienced, he now only goes 45mph on gravel and is more aware of his surroundings. With all of the fatal accidents occurring, Bruch feels that more people need to slow down and drive with caution. Accidents are preventable, not driving reckless and being more responsible can make a big difference. As more and more students start to drive, Bruch wants to tell them to "use their heads." Staying focused is another important step in driving defensively.
During the holidays many families travel to relatives. If snow comes into play then driving can be even more dangerous. Adults get busy enjoying family time with a few drinks of alcohol here and there, but they also need to be responsible and set a good example for the young ones around them. If someone gets into a car after drinking, what they think is harmless could become fatal. Accidents happening anytime is horrible, but if they occur over the holidays, then that’s something the rest of the family will remember forever.