Varsity Tutors Scholarship Entry

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John of Castle Rock , CO
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Distracted Driving - Varsity Tutors Scholarship Essay

Most High School students will text and drive at some point, yet few of them will consider the huge effect it could have on their lives or the lives of others. This essay is to tell you about my personal experience. I learned firsthand the effects of texting and driving and I am passionate about helping others understand how irresponsible it is.

This topic is very real for me because I was the cause of a car accident for no other reason than texting and driving. One night I was driving home from a high school basketball game. I was lost and had no idea where I was going. It was bumper to bumper traffic so I pulled out my phone to get directions home. The traffic was beginning to move so I began to accelerate. I then looked down for two seconds, looked back up, and BAM. My car made a horrible noise, I was jolted up from my seat and my head touched the top interior of my car. I began shaking violently and couldn’t come to terms with what had just happened. I had a difficult time getting out of the car as it was smashed in and my doors were demolished. Looking down, I saw my radiator fluid flowing down the street like a river and I realized that I had rear ended the truck in front of me.

Looking up, I saw the people in front of me get out of their vehicle. There was not much damage to the truck at all, maybe a few small dents. On the other hand, my car was totaled. Fortunately, no one was hurt, however I’m very lucky no one was! I’m blessed that no one was hurt that night. This is why this event is important to me. I could’ve hurt someone or even worse, killed them. All because I had looked down at my phone for directions.

I care about this topic because I have many friends that text and drive, get directions and even Snapchat and drive! They do not have fear for the consequences of distracted driving.

Texting and driving can result in death, injuries or other awful repercussions. Every time you text and drive, you risk your life and the lives of others. It has been proven that texting and driving slows down a person's reaction time dramatically and is as dangerous as drunk driving or driving while using drugs. It is crazy to think when an individual is texting and driving, they are doing the equivalent to drinking and driving.

The last and probably worst thing the accident left me with was guilt and culpability. Like I mentioned above, I don’t know if I could have lived with myself if I would have seriously injured someone. People who are responsible for an accident because of careless driving are left with a sense of guilt. It is very difficult to get rid of. People don’t always think about it, but there are other costs you really need to experience to feel their full weight. I wish there was a better way to get the point across. Apart from smaller consequences, such as losing your license or having to spend money on an accident you caused, there are much larger consequences. I realized that the biggest risk of texting and driving is that you could injure or kill yourself and others. This is what literally gave me nightmares after my accident. I would constantly dream of getting into other accidents.

Although this problem is addressed daily, I feel that most people still do not take this matter very seriously. Commercials about texting and driving are seen all the time on T.V. The reality is that when most people see these commercials, they disregard them - even though one out of every four accidents is because of texting and driving.

The turning point for me was after I took a class called “Alive at 25.” We viewed disturbing videos of actual accidents that have taken place because of distracted driving. It will always stick with me. I wish that in the United States, the accidents that we witnessed in the “Alive at 25” presentation were showed on T.V. Commercials are shown in the U.K much like the videos shown at “Alive at 25” and I firmly believe that it would help get the point across here. In summary, the cost of texting and other distracted driving is not acceptable. We as a society need to increase awareness, education and improve technology until loss from this widespread affair is a thing of the past.

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