Thursday, May 13, 2010

Teenagers Speak Up On How To Reduce Their Own Auto Accident Rate

As mentioned Tuesday, today we'll be looking at some of the winning entries in this year's CSE Insurance scholarship contest.

As we're in the process of notifying the winners, we won't be posting their names here just yet. This will be rectified as soon as everyone is notified.

Anyway, here are some excerpts from some of the award winners. This one takes a sober (no pun intended) look at the root cause of teen-involved car accidents:

At the core of the issue is a basic theme of bloated self-esteem; teens today are much too self-confident and view themselves as omnipotent and invincible. The Millennial Generation has been raised in an environment in which parents and teachers constantly remind teens of their uniqueness and individuality, which has led to a belief among teens that they can never do anything wrong. This mentality is most readily apparent in motor accidents, in which teens do not pay attention to the various risks of cars, such as driving when still unskilled, entering the car of a drunk driver, or igniting an engine while high or intoxicated. Such irresponsible behavior could be reduced with a general reform of the mentality in our households and schools.

Another uses a more personal approach:

The abrupt vision of a familiar metal form filling the space where sunlight should have been. The dark sting of impact. The shattering chaos of raining glass. The spirit's silent screaming, "No... no... no!" The instinctive reaching for the phone, and the face that appears at the window to take it from me, to tell my father that she's just witnessed his daughter's wreck. On quiet nights this vision violently invades my sleepy thoughts as I begin to drift out of consciousness. It happened over a year ago, but it's still the story I tell most often.

For quite some time my brain was mesmerized by the million little factors that played into the event. It was an endless game of what-if, but the sole factor that decisively caused the accident was the one I did not want to face: I had been inattentive.

Another bears a theme similar to the first essay quoted, emphasizing personal responsibility:

I think education is the key to fighting the inexperience, immaturity, irresponsibility and peer pressure. High school students are coddled and mothered on virtually every aspect of their education. Schools teach virtually nothing about real life: the realities of working for a living, personal finances, balancing checkbooks, paying taxes, contracts, leases, crime, and the draft. Graduation itself has become an entitlement, where teachers are afraid to stigmatize a student with a harsh grade, to attach a penalty (or even a label) to personal failure, and are often forbidden to use red ink when grading a paper. When social correctness trumps every aspect of education, how can we be surprised that students are inexperienced, immature, and irresponsible?

Finally, on a somewhat lighter note we have a winning entry that proves there is at least one high school senior out there who paid attention during class:

The basic mathematical equation is simple: a new driver, in other words a teenager, plus a license, in addition to a car, equals a possibility of an accident. When attempting to solve this problem, to produce a different sum, a mathematician should take in account every strategy such as elimination, substitution, and basic addition. Managing every variable in the equation carefully and concisely will lead to a more favorable result -- lower teenage automobile accident rates.

And here's the kicker:

The young woman who wrote the above is a varsity cheerleader.

So much for that cliché, what say?

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