Monday, June 27, 2011

Bad Drivers

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The “brakes need to be pressed” on bad drivers. To many people are involved in motor-vehicle accidents each year. The laws on these bad drivers need to be strengthened and enforced in order to protect each other. Driving laws for teens, DWI and DUI, aggressive and reckless driving and speeding is not good enough and enforced enough for the safety of others.

All you have to do as a teenager to obtain your driver’s licenses in the state of Virginia is hold your learners permit for 6 months, pass a written test, and get a few hours of road practice within the school or another program and pass a small road test. This does not prepare the teenagers for driving. They learn nothing about real life situations; how to respond to inclement weather, how to react to other drivers’ actions, and what to do in case of an accident. Many teenagers are ill prepared for driving.

“I don’t think the law should be so punitive as to keep someone from going to work or school. I don’t think everyone believes you should get one speeding ticket and you should lose your right to get to work and school.” Teens would still have the right to get to work and school, just not driving themselves. Walking, the buses, riding a bike, getting a ride, many options are still open to teens as modes of transport. Driving is not a right; it is a privilege. 1,157 teens have had their licenses revoked for various reasons. This still has not yet changed the amount of accidents and deaths caused by teens. (Ledford)

Drunk drivers are probably the worst drivers on the road. “On average, one person is injured every minutes in alcohol related accidents.” (Does America Need…). Many people consider that if all states changed their legal limit to 0.08, then 500 to 600 fatal accidents a year could be avoid. When drivers are drunk, they think that they are good drivers. They loose all inhibitions and the ability to think and perceive. Many also think that they are actually driving very well. Reaction time is slowed down greatly. Drunk drivers cause 8 percent of all traffic deaths. (Does America Need…). “There is a direct correlation between lower BAC limits and decreases in alcohol-related accidents.” (Does America Need…). BAC readings are sometimes unreliable, depending on the food eaten, or medication the person is currently taking. This is why some states are fighting to keep the standard and 0.10, instead of 0.08 BAC. More then 40 percent of teenage deaths are caused by car accidents, 8 percent of that are alcohol related.

Aggressive drivers are just as bad as drunk drivers are. Swerving in and out of lanes, speeding, and cutting people off. Who has not seen these drivers before? Aggressive drivers cause road rage. When one driver cuts of another, the driver that got cut off gets angry. He may just swear of honk the horn. Or he may take drastic measures and rear-end the driver that cut him off. Most states are now starting to crack down on aggressive drivers and road rage. Tickets and points on their licenses won’t help. They need to be stopped before it is too late. The laws that are already in place about road rage and aggressive driving are too weak and poorly enforced. Large fines and ever jail time should be issued for aggressive drivers and drivers with road rage.

Tied in with aggressive driving is speeding. People are always in a rush to get somewhere, and speed down the road. Sometimes, people race cars on the streets for enjoyment. These races can reach speeds up to 100 mph. percent of all drivers 15-4 involved in fatal crashes were speeding. (Eye Opening Statistics) Drinking and speeding are also related. Many teens that have been involved in speeding related crashes have been drinking. Males tend to speed more often the females. About 40 percent of males involved in crashes, were speeding. (Eye Opening Statistics) When a car reaches speeds above 80 mph, the driver tends to loose control. The slightest mistake in steering can cause the car to flip or spin out. Also, driving at high speeds, the driver has less reaction time. If a car or person goes out in front of the speeding car, chances are the driver in the car will not have enough time to react properly, and will usually cause an accident. “In states that increased the highway speed limit to 65 mph, the fatalities increased by 10%.” (Eye Opening Statistics) This proves that speed causes accidents, and the speed limits on the highways should be lowered. But just lowering the speed limit won’t help. The speed limit needs to be enforced to bring the number of accidents down.

Car accidents are one of the major causes of deaths in the US, especially among young people. To protect each other, the laws of driving need to be strengthened and enforced, or else more people will keep getting hurt and killed.

“Does America Need a National Standard on Drunk Driving?” April 2001 http//

“Eye Opening Statistics.” April 001 http//

“FARS Web-Based Encyclopedia. April 2001 http//

Ledford, Joey. “Teen-Driving Dilemma Existing Laws Tough, but Pressure Mounts for More Restriction.” 1 March 001. 16 October 000. http//

“Legislators Ought to Keep Hands Off States Tough Teen Driving Laws.” http//

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