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In Defense of Drivers Education

Security+staff+member+Robert+Bennet+works+to+direct+traffic+in+the+afternoon+as+parents+of+students+arrive+for+pick+up+and+student+drivers+exit+the+student+parking+lot.+%E2%80%9CThe+parking+lot+is+a+chaotic+mess%2C%E2%80%9D+sophomore+Veronica+Calderon+said.+%E2%80%9CPeople+are+so+rushed+to+get+out+so+they+don%E2%80%99t+have+patience+for+other+people.+That%E2%80%99s+why+Bennet+has+to+be+there%3B+so+people+don%E2%80%99t+get+in+an+accident+in+their+rush+to+leave.%E2%80%9D+
Security staff member Robert Bennet works to direct traffic in the afternoon as parents of students arrive for pick up and student drivers exit the student parking lot. “The parking lot is a chaotic mess,” sophomore Veronica Calderon said. “People are so rushed to get out so they don’t have patience for other people. That’s why Bennet has to be there; so people don’t get in an accident in their rush to leave.”

Security staff member Robert Bennet works to direct traffic in the afternoon as parents of students arrive for pick up and student drivers exit the student parking lot. “The parking lot is a chaotic mess,” sophomore Veronica Calderon said. “People are so rushed to get out so they don’t have patience for other people. That’s why Bennet has to be there; so people don’t get in an accident in their rush to leave.”

Photo provided by: Cara Roth

Photo provided by: Cara Roth

Security staff member Robert Bennet works to direct traffic in the afternoon as parents of students arrive for pick up and student drivers exit the student parking lot. “The parking lot is a chaotic mess,” sophomore Veronica Calderon said. “People are so rushed to get out so they don’t have patience for other people. That’s why Bennet has to be there; so people don’t get in an accident in their rush to leave.”

Desiree Martinez, Journalism 1 Reporter

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Every day the student parking lot is jam packed with students and parents who are frantic to get off the premises. Up until two weeks ago, I had never given much thought about other student’s driving. I would just see occasional rants from teenagers at Lake Brantley High School getting into minor accidents on social media. All of this changed for me on February 5, during what I thought was a routine drive home with my dad. As we made our short journey home along Sand Lake Road, we were stopped due to the regular congestion of cars. I looked down at my phone to check the time, but instead found my face slamming into the dash of the car. I ignored the flow of blood coming from my mouth and refused to move and struggled to believe what was happening. As the shock wore off, I came to the realization that another Lake Brantley High student had rear ended a truck into my brand-new Jeep, causing our vehicle to ram into yet another students bumper. Luckily, no one was seriously injured. After this experience, I am more convinced than ever that our high school should require students to a take driver’s education course to be able to drive to school.

My immediate thoughts post-accident made me realize how easily distracted teenagers are when they drive and oddly enough, how gross blood really tastes.  As the minutes ticked by and as the paramedics checked my blood pressure, I became more and more angry at the fact I had just been involved in an accident instead of going home for a typical afternoon nap. Then, I realized accidents like these happen regularly in the parking lot, on Sand Lake Road, and even beyond the 407. Although the location of distracted driver accidents may change it seems most of the time teenagers are involved.

“Teen driver crashes are the leading cause of death for our nation’s youth,” said the Impact Teen Drivers Organization. “The overwhelming majority of these crashes are caused by inexperience or distractions, not ‘thrill-seeking’ or deliberate risk-taking.” Surprisingly this statistic has not brought any actions towards preventing these accidents.

Although the driver’s education course provides all information needed to be safe on the road, teenagers are still opting out of taking the course. According to a study conducted by the University of Nebraska, young drivers who have not completed driver’s education are 75 percent more likely to get a traffic ticket, 24 percent more likely to be involved in a fatal or injury accident and 16 percent more likely to have an accident.

Why are students opting out of taking the course if the statistics show how significant it is? Time. Students simply do not want to take time out of their schedule to take a boring course on how to drive. Ironically, these students end up taking time and money out of their schedule when they get pulled over or into an accident.

Administrators at the school address the issue over the intercom at seven in the morning when students are most likely not listening. Instead, county leaders within the public-school system and beyond should take deliberate action to protect students and other drivers on the road by making driver’s education a requirement for students to drive to school.

Until these policy changes are made, the course is optional locally during the summer rotating between Lake Brantley or Lyman. It is also available online through Florida Virtual School. Students who complete the course may have chances to lower the cost of their car insurance rates and will receive a half credit, making it beneficial in more ways than one.

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In Defense of Drivers Education