Young drivers.

After watching a harrowing and extremely emotional documentary last night, I realised just how unprepared young drivers can be even months after gaining their desired licence.

BBC Three’s “Licence to Kill” left me in tears as I watched how people have been killed, or left with life-long injuries, because of carelessness when driving. The programme was centred specifically around young drivers, and how their sheer negligence can often lead to the most dangerous of consequences.

The suggestions at the end of the show focused on how to make young drivers better drivers, even before they are on the road. As a person learning to drive myself, I think that implementing new strategies to buckle down and target individuals entering the world of driving is a fantastic idea. People need to know that driving is fun, but the wrong kind of fun can ruin people’s lives. It’s easy to think that once you get your new car, you will be a safe driver, but I think that for youngsters, showing off and proving that you have earned your licence is a must, and can lead to dangerous displays of driving in attempts to appear cool.

Some of the ideas suggested were not being allowed to drive during the night, as these were the times most accidents occured involving young drivers. I think that this is a pretty good idea, as it’s at night time that roads are clearer and people suddenly feel more alive. Usually, with their friends in the back of their car, and even the possibility of alcohol or other substances being in their system, drivers can decide to take a risk and perhaps start speeding. If this can be prevented, it is a strategy that for me, is more than welcome. However, I guess it should be remembered that this is probably a minority, and that most young drivers are usually safe, even when driving at night. They shouldn’t be victimized because other people are irresponsible, right? Although it may seem restrictive to some, if this reduces the amount of road accidents out there, then it can only be beneficial. You would not be stripped of your dignity if you had to use public transport or ask an adult to collect you.

I also watched how safety presentations were given to youngsters in Surrey, which was a fairly new strategy. First, a seemingly comfortable atmosphere is created, where pounding dance music is played the idea of a relaxed atmosphere is induced. Later, the audience is shocked and jilted when a tragic accident occurs due to the mistake of a young driver. Although I thought this strategy was slightly frightening – enough to frighten people from driving completely – I do think that overall, it does more good than bad. The youngsters were genuinely affected by the video clips shown, some crying and left shocked at what could potentially happen if they are not safe on the road. After seeing these videos and being given real-life accounts of people who had lost their loved one because of such accidents later, accidents involving young drivers in the area were reduced. If this worked there, then surely it can work elsewhere. It should be implemneted!

I guess it would be ideal if people just thought more carefully about driving. Not only are you responsible for yourself, but for your passengers and everyone around you. Sure, driving is a cool thing, which can be extremely fun, but before being reckless, it’s a good idea to just THINK about what you are about to do. It can really help.


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