The Sobering Reality of Crashing a Car.

Every two minutes, someone is injured in a drunk driving incident. One person every 50 minutes dies because someone is drunk on the road. Most of the time, the drunk people are the ones who survive and the sober people driving to work, school, or home are the ones who lose their lives. This is something that I have been warned about my whole life, but I never took it seriously. I would borrow my mom’s car and drive tipsy or high thinking it was okay and I was safe, and luckily I always was.

Until Friday the 13th, October 2017, when I got into the car with a person 22 years of age, who was hammered, and we hit a tree going 40 miles per hour.

We hit the tree head on, smoke was everywhere, and the airbags went off. Luckily we were all wearing our seatbelts; I was sitting in the middle back seat and would have flown through the windshield if I hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt. We stumbled out of the car and struggled to open the passenger door, where our good friend was sitting, but it was bent inward and stuck. A kind citizen ran out from the bank that was nextdoor to the tree and helped us pry the door open. The driver stumbled toward us with blood on his forehead. The front wheels of his sportscar were askew and barely on the car. The tree was indented, and there were pieces of rubble everywhere.

We all sat down on the ground and started crying, the wind had been knocked straight out of us, and it was hard to breathe. The police and and paramedics showed up. Our friend in the passenger seat had hurt her leg, and we had all been thrown forward with such force we were worried about our ribs. The police gave everyone a Minor in Possession of Alcohol ticket, and the driver was arrested and whisked away to jail for drunk driving and endangerment of minors.

We all survived, but it shook a lot of sense into all of us. We hadn’t trusted our initial intuition not to not get into the car, and now we were paying for it.

Driving drunk is a serious matter. Young drivers (ages 16-20) are 17 times more likely to die in a car crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they have not been drinking. One in ten people will drive drunk during their teen years. The health risks of drinking alcohol are already dangerous enough---people die of alcohol poisoning every day---a good amount of them being teens.

I am writing this to inform the community that people's lives are affected by alcohol related accidents, and every day people die due to alcohol. This is a scary reality. It is time to teach the teens of our communities nationwide to drink responsibly and exercise caution when getting into a car when the driver may be impaired. If we spread the word, then people's lives can be saved.

I feel blessed that my accident was not fatal and that we didn't hit another person's car. If we had killed someone else driving on that road, we would have to live with this guilt the rest of our lives. The passersby and the people on the road that day were affected and the police and paramedics coming to the scene had to take time out of their days to deal with stupid, drunk teens.

We happened to be blessed, but not every accident has a happy outcome; we must spread awareness.

We must stop drunk driving.

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