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2015 submissions from the top ten finalists

Essay Ten

Accidents related to drunk driving are some of the most devastating, but avoidable, occurrences our society faces today. On a personal level, those that plan on consuming alcohol need to plan ahead and realize the serious consequences of their actions. As a community, we have a responsibility to prevent these accidents, because not only is it dangerous for the intoxicated drivers, but for all the innocent citizens that surround them. That should begin with the education of teens and young adults, who are mostly likely to be the involved in DWI-related incidents. Next, we can use the media to make people aware that designated driver services, to make sure that avoidable accidents do not occur.

Children, throughout middle school and high school, are taught to make good choices and that their actions have consequences. Why can’t the same process be applied to make sure our teens understand the dangers of drunk driving? For example, in my high school health education class, my friends and I were challenged to put on goggles that simulate intoxication and perform everyday activities, such as drawing and walking. The community can take that a step further and hold events to raise awareness for drunk driving. If we have teens, let’s say, drive cars in a closed, safe setting while wearing these goggles, they can see for themselves how much alcohol impairs driving. But if we all wait and let them drink and drive to experience the sensation, then it’ll be too late to show them the incredible danger of their actions.

Another way we, as a community, can get the message acroos is through commercials and the use of social media. Perhaps the best example of the effectiveness of using the media are the commercials that persuade people to quit smoking, another hazardous activity. Those advertisements not only alert the masses to smoking dangers, but they also scare people into quitting smoking. The community can do the same thing with drunk driving. Once could show the aftermath of crashes involving intoxicated drivers, or even interview crash victims and survivors, on TV and social media in order to get the word out to persuade people to think twice before they put their lives, as well as everyone’s lives around them, at risk. These commercials and advertisements on social media, while initially disturbing, can be persuasive and scare people into not drinking and driving.

Lastly, our community can put measure into place to decrease the likelihood of a DWI crash. One major reason that these crashes occur is because the absence of a designated driver. If the community could put into place a system of free cab rides for inebriated individuals, then everyone would be a lot safer. This is similar to what some universities do-they provide complimentary transportation to their students that are in a dangerous situation. The community could pay for a hotline to be put into place if an intoxicated person needs a ride. The person would just need to give their location, and a cab would be sent for them at no charge. While some could view this as an expensive operation, it is a bargain relative to facing the monetary and human costs of a drunk driving accident.

The deaths of many people involved in drunk driving-related crashes are avoidable. If we want to make sure they happen as infrequently as possible, we, as a community, can do numerous things. We can educate our youth, use commercials and social media, and implement safeguards in the form of transportation services to decrease the occurrence of DWI crashes. And since you can’t put a dollar amount on someone’s life, it’s just a question of everyone speaking up to ensure that these measure are put into place in order to prevent these horrible accidents.

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