The Dangers of Driving


Ashlyn Long, Staff

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As teenagers begin to drive, the freedom that comes with a license can go straight to our heads. We begin to believe we are untouchable, and we can go anywhere the road takes us (both figuratively and literally). We begin feeling more comfortable out of the house and out with friends, sometimes staying out for full days on end. This freedom gives a boost of self confidence, but also can lead to drastic results. 

Once upon a time (actually a couple months ago), I was in a rear-end collision. The car in front of me slammed on their brakes and I tapped them, going maybe 10 miles an hour if that. I wasn’t on my phone, wasn’t distracted, just not fast enough to stop my car. I, of course, was terrified. I was alone and this was the first accident that I had ever been in. 

I was very apologetic and I knew that this was 100 percent my fault. But then I found out that these people were the type to, lets say, make a little extra off of someone’s bad day. They asked for several things from me, including my license, and I gave it to them because, once again, I didn’t really know what to do. Looking back, I probably should have waited for my mom to come before I willingly let them take a picture of my license. But I didn’t know that at the time. they were very perceptive that I was, in fact, “underaged” (I’m seventeen). They called the police and their insurance agency (which was very understandable), and I waited for an officer to arrive. Keep in mind, this entire time, they were making casual conversation with me, joking like we were old friends. Their car had received minimal damage, while my car was a little bit more nicked up. All in all, it wasn’t much of anything to show or the events that had occured. 

When the officer got there, he got both sides of the story and began writing the report. I overheard the other passengers complaining about some kind of pain. They were really insisting that the officer put the injuries in his report, I mean really really insisting. Again, let me reiterate the fact that I was going maybe 10 miles an hour. I’m not saying that something couldn’t have happened, but it did seem a bit fishy, especially to the officer. They downright refused any kind of medical care or ambulance to come check them out, so the officer concluded in his report that they were not injured. The reason that I didn’t brake successfully turned out to be that I needed new tires, but that’s besides the point. Thanks to a nice officer, they will most likely be unsuccessful if they try to get money for medical bills.

The main point of this entire article is that we are young. I think I speak for the majority when I say that sometimes we don’t know what to do and don’t make the best decisions in pressing situations. Sometimes people will attempt to take advantage of us because we are so young. I wish I had known what an accident and a report was actually like so I knew what to expect and what to do in that situation.

In case of an accident as a teenager, your best bet is to call a trusted adult who would know what to do. Make sure you know the rights of both parties and what both parties can do. Always have a plan in case of emergency, because no one knows what could happen.