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Kalil Masters attends Lithia Springs High School as a Senior. His essay about texting and driving submitted to Murphy Law Firm in Douglasville has earned him a $500 scholarship to help with his college expenses.
In the modern age, cellphones and other technology have become commonplace in almost everyone’s lives. According to a study done by Common Sense Media in 2015, by age twelve 69% of kids have a phone. This means that by the time kids are 16 and ready to drive, nearly every kid will have a phone. While having a phone can make parents feel safer because they can know where their kids are, and unprecedented risk is taken by granting them this. In order to gain their license, teens under 18 have to go through a lot more hoops before they can get their license, and for very good reason too. By themselves, according to an article by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety 16-17 year olds already makeup 1432 of the car crashes compared to the next highest being 18-19 year olds at 730 per 100 million miles driven. Teens, overall, are a lot more irresponsible drivers than their peers.
Driving is an intensive that requires all of your attention 100% of the time. Taking your eyes off the road for even half a second can sometimes lead to an accident. Part of the issue with teens is that they might not take the act of driving seriously and that stems from parents not properly teaching them. As they are, teens have a habit of being on their phones. On average, teens spend 7 and a half hours on their phones so, if teens aren’t told to put it down while driving then they will continue to do it without a second thought. Parents even need to lead by example while their kids are in the car. In my own personal experiences, my mother is always on her phone when she drives and it never bothered me before I started driving. However, now that I’ve started driving back and forth to school everyday and various other activities, I’ve realized that it’s nearly impossible to do both at the same time. For an entire year after I got my license I never even had the radio on because it was way too distracting. Now, everytime I’m in the car with her it scares me to death when I see her do it. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it the same way I do and it causes so many more unnecessary car crashes.
At the end of the day, everyone wants to go home, safe and without incident. Teens who don’t know better need to be educated about the dangers of driving and how to do it safely. Every parent/guardian needs to have these types of conversations because neglecting to teach children about things as important as this will not only harm them but any person around them. This isn’t the type of thing that someone can afford to do trial by error and learn from their mistakes. Both driving and phones are things that can be beneficial to our society, but used incorrectly can cause a life altering change.
2020 Scholarship Participant Essays