The Dangers Of Driving

Submitted By jsvolos
Words: 1478
Pages: 6

Whatever So there I was. Sixteen years old and equipped with a license to drive. My birthday present, a brand new fully loaded sunglow red ‘vette. Okay, che’vette. It was a hand-me-down from grandma and grandpa, but it had wheels and it lay dormant in my garage for many months awaiting this glorious day. As I got behind the wheel I had only one thing in mind, I was ready to go from zero to sixty in just 5 minutes. As I strapped on my seat belt and collector’s edition Evil Knieval driving glasses, I felt myself going faster and faster as if I were at the whims of my roaring speed machine, but then I heard a small voice inside my head. A voice saying, “Stop!” “Don’t you know that according to the National Transportation Safety Board Annual Report of 1995 there are approximately 22,461 Americans who died as a result of unsafe drivers and in 1997, the Federal Automobile Commissions reported 7000 teenage fatalities on the road.” “You understand, you know better.” The voice inside my head likes periodicals. And all I could think to myself was “ahh-whatever.” My inner geek needs to shut up. Virtually, all of us know better. We know more than ever before about the dangers we face and we know how to avoid them. Yet lately in our society our response is simply “whatever”. We ignore the statistics, the advice and the common sense, which should be pointing us in the direction towards a healthy life. Now to fully understand the destructive mentality we must first identify what is wrong with the philosophy, which supports it, causes it and learn how we can say “whatever” you ___. Now “whatever” is a term popularized recently by a great philosopher of the 20th century – Alicia Silverstone from Clueless. Mind you, we had been using the term many years before the movie, but it wasn’t until recently that “whatever” permeated our daily lives. Okay, let’s begin with the way we are eating and taking care of our bodies. We now consume about 10 more pounds of fats and oils per year than we did in 1970. Ten pounds of fats and oils. That’s the equivalent of precisely one and a half gorditas at Taco Bell. Do you even know what gorditas means? Chubby girls! And they thought that the talking Chihuahua wasn’t politically correct. Now that we have beefed up, let’s have a smoke shall we? Well, that’s what approximately one out of every five Americans is saying according to Lloyd Johnston, author of “Monitoring the Future Study.” I mean over 400,00 people die annually due to smoking related diseases. You confront a smoker with these statistics and they all tend to have the same response – “Whatever! I don’t see you throwing statistics at the woman over at Wendy’s eating a cheeseburger!” Yes, that’s because she’s not blowing thick chunks of meat in my face! We say “whatever” to so many things that we don’t realize how insidious our decisions become. For example, drugs. Today, drug users are younger than at any other time and according to a study done by the Columbia University Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, the use of illicit drugs such as LSD and cocaine are up 150% over the past 5 years – among 8th graders. 14 year old kids are snorting cocaine. What happened to Elmer’s glue? Magic Markers? – Ahh, the good ole days. Unfortunately, since we use “whatever” as our tool for decision-making, often it will affect the lives of other as well. Aids and drunk driving are both products of “whatever”. In fact, in a recent survey conducted by the Allen Gumacher Institute, only 35% of all sexually active 15 to 19 year old males and females use protection during every act of sexual intercourse. Come on, this cant possible mean that the other 65% were never told that unsafe sex was dangerous. They just don’t care and as Barry Swedeler of the National Transportation Safety Board said there still remains a group of persistent drinking drivers who do not appear to be deterred by the threat of social disapproval, legal