Friday, April 26, 2013

Not A New Problem. Not A New Answer.

I'm so sick of the dangerous driver stereotype.
Car crashes have been around since before phones.
Alcohol has been around since before car crashes.
Teenagers have been around since before alcohol.
first car crash in the world
My grandma learned to drive when she was eleven. Her teacher was her cousin, who was six months younger. When they were done tending to all the chores that needed to be done on the mink farm, they'd drive their roofless, seat belt-less truck up and down the gully. "Just like a roller coaster," she tells me.
My dad learned to drive when he was twelve. Well, learned might not be the best word for it. He was babysitting, so his parents weren't around to teach him that night. He did drive. He just didn't get very far. Stupid tree.
I didn't get behind the wheel of a car until I was fifteen. I've been sixteen for almost six months and I still don't have my license because I'm busy getting my forty hours in. It's April and I've never been in a car driven by another sophomore. None of them will take me home from school because of the six month rule.
We're cautious. Definitely not the beer-guzzling, obsessive-texting, horrible drivers you think we are.
Get behind the wheel after too many beers and you can kill people. I don't care how old you are. I don't care how long you've been driving. I don't care what kind of superior reasoning capabilities your adult brain is supposed to possess.
Don't say we're too (stupid, young, immature, underdeveloped) pick your favorite term to understand the consequences. Don't tell me we think we'll live forever. So you're older, you've had more time to watch your loved ones die. We've lost our friends, siblings, grandparents, parents, and goldfish too, thank you very much.
 It's so Slap Me Over the Head with a Cold Dead Fish obvious, even before the assemblies. I've been listening to those public service announcements since long before I had a phone or a learner's permit. We get it. Everyone gets it. The only people I've seen texting while driving are adults.
Of course there are stories. Of course there are behind-the-clipboard statistics. Don't give me those. I've seen life without a clipboard. 

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