A Tragic Story of Prom and Permits: Part 1

Photo Credit: balticassist

Bethany Yoddle, a highschool junior, just got her license right in time for prom. Bethany is an aspiring model/actress/tv show cooking competition judge/daytime talkshow host/reality tv show star. Bethany isn’t going to prom with anyone, but she just assumes they can’t handle her charismatic, multi-talented persona. But, little does she know, her best friend since 4th grade, Ben, is in love with her. Bethany and Ben have gone from swing sets to driving licenses, now they are 16 and she still has no idea.

7 pm hits, and Bethany climbs into her car to make her way to prom. Bethany’s drive to the prom site is a long one, as it’s outside of the city, but luckily she has all her favorite music to listen to on her way there.

Bethany hits the more rural part of her drive, and unfortunately, a deer ran across the road right as Bethany was singing loudly ( and ear-bleedingly bad) to her favorite song. Bethany saw the deer and she slammed the brakes, but just a second too late, and her front bumper collided with the deer.

To Be Continued

 

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Until It Happens To You

Photo Credit: http://www.lawyer.submitinfo.com (not my accident)

Before every Thanksgiving break, the Ojai Valley School’s upper campus receives a speech from headmaster Mr. Cooper about safety. This talk consistently includes the statement, “the most dangerous thing you can do it get in an automobile.”

I listened attentively, but never truly comprehended how accurate Mr. Cooper’s statement was.

On the first night of break, I got into a car accident.

Although it was much more complicated than just an accident, I need not go into detail about the chaos that followed.

I am okay and that’s all that matters.

I write this blog simply as an attempt to open the eyes of other young drivers, like myself, and help them realize that have a license is absolutely NOT a right, it is a privilege.

All it takes is one split-second to change someone’s life forever. Whether it is your fault or the other driver’s, the physical and mental damage affects every person involved.

It is not that I didn’t take my parent’s advice about driving seriously, or that I did not do well on my driving test, but it was honestly an accident, hence why they are called “accidents”, not “on purposes”.

From the age of 16, we drive these large, metal death-traps around, unaware of the mass amount of damage that can be caused by them. We are taught about the dangers of drinking and driving, and speeding, but none of us knows the honest abilities of our cars until we experience it for ourselves.

Currently in recovery mode, I have the daunting task of deciding how to continue as a driver and monitor the collateral damage that has come from this event.

You can do everything possible to prevent accidents from happening, but every time you get in a car, you are choosing to take that risk. Stop for a second next time, and evaluate what you are capable of as soon as you turn on the engine.

You never think it will happen until it happens to you.

 

 

Car Chaos

This week, I stumbled across yet another technological advancement while reading news articles.

Since September 2014, Google has released roughly 50 self-driving cars out and about on the streets of California. These futuristic Lexus’ and Audi’s have been roaming the streets in hopes to prove that they are safe to drive themselves.

So far, there have been only 11 accidents that were minor and included no injuries.

“Not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident,” said Google’s Chris Urmson.

In my opinion, although self-driving cars sound kind of cool, they also sound terrifying. What if we know something is wrong with our car, but we cannot control it because the car is in control of itself?

However, Google makes some very strong points as to why their cars are safer than human driven cars: robots do not get tired, they are not emotional, they are over-cautious rather than fearless, and these cars can see things human’s cannot always see.

Is this an unrealistic plan with too many issues involved? Or what our future will be like?

Photo Credit: extremetech.com

Drive Safely.

A few days ago, one of my friends in China got injured from a car accident, in which the driver was texting while driving.

The tragedy reminds me of an informal survey I did during this summer. The survey was based on the new policy about “texting-while-driving.”

Gov.Andrew Cuomo signed new legislation increasing penalties for teens caught texting-while-driving, and the penalties apply to any kind of cell-phone activity while driving. Under the proposal, violators’ licenses would be suspended for 60 days after their first conviction.

The number of cellphone-related car accidents in New York State increased by 143 percent between 2005 and 2011, according to New York.

According to my informal survey of 10 New Yorkers from East Village area, teenagers spend more time on texting than the older group and about 10% of people interviewed drive and text.

Drivers talking on cell phones are 18% slower to react to brake lights in front of them and they take 17% longer to return to their original speed after braking, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Also, early CBS reports showed that Harvard researchers estimate about one in 20 U.S. traffic accident involve a driver talking on a cell phone.

The legislation brought people in agreement. Most of people think the policy was fairly helpful and efficient.

However, there are still lots of people who remain neglectful the importance of not doing something else while driving. I think it is not only the governments’ responsibilities to reinforce the laws, but also people’s obligations to control themselves.

Please, when you drive, do not do anything else.
Texts can be delayed, lives can not.

The Beauty of Independence

About three weeks ago, on my way to the Ojai Valley School for the beginning of the school year, I was dragged out of bed at six in the morning and loaded into my dad’s truck along with my luggage and two little brothers.

We were on our way to the airport in Denver, Colorado, and set off from my hometown Aspen so early in the morning because of the four hour drive ahead of us. Although the drive might sound long, it is not as tedious as one would expect.

My dad starts the truck with just a little bit of trouble, enough to make me look over at him and raise my eyebrows in a sleepy haze. He’ll blame it on the cold of the morning, but I think he was just as tired as the rest of us. He did manage to successfully back out of the driveway (without hitting any mailboxes or trash cans), and we were en route. Knowing these were my final hours with my family before not seeing them for three months, I settled in for the drive up Independence Pass.Read More »

Ch-Ch-Changes.

Sunflower

It’s funny how much things can change in a year. This time last May I was still learning how to drive, and today I was confidently driving to LAX on my own. Yes believe it or not I actually can drive. Ok, you may argue not properly but I think I’m pretty pro despite the general consensus among others.

Any way moving on, it’s amazing how much things change and how we change as people over the course of a year. How we grow in different areas, in my mind, is a miracle.

Looking at my self today I am in some ways unrecognizable. I have more confidence, am more mature and actually can see my self in an adult manner. In my eyes I believe I have grown out of that pre adulthood rebellion and am actually acting the age I am.

With my noticed personal growth this year I can’t wait to see what I become in this next year and what changes I undertake.

Cars, Cars, Cars

I love cars and I cannot fully explain why. There is something about them that just excites me and turns me into a little boy.

I think Top Gear said it best by calling that feeling the “fizz”, the feeling that certain cars give you that just cannot be explained.

I love going fast and yet I don’t need to while enjoying a car (although some cars just have to be driven quickly).

Being a poor teenager there is no way that I get to drive supercars and hypercars, just admire them from a distance.

And yet, that is good enough for me.

It is an art form that combines design with functionality. It is not something that can be replicated exactly but something that evolves and is interpreted differently.

A simple car that is made as cheaply as possible is just as impressive as a car that can go over 200 mph. It is the brilliant engineering in both.

Ultimately a great car is one that you can bond with, one that adopts human-like characteristics. That is the dream car, no price tag, no status, just a relationship.