A life can end as quickly as it began. Often, teenagers share the misconception that they are invincible; nothing or no one can touch them.
And at times this can be great; having self-confidence is a healthy part of development, but it is when this confidence transforms into conceit that we see deadly effects.
Such is the case with almost 2,000 underage drinkers, who die each year behind the wheel as a result of intoxication.
These individuals were students, friends, the loved ones of so many, and yet they did not live to see their own graduation. It is not underage drinking, so much as the active decision to get behind the wheel after what one might perceive to be “a few drinks” that generate these sobering statistics.
When you decide to embark on a night of partying, which at this age typically involves more than a few drinks, that is a personal decision; the only one on the receiving end is yourself.
However, when you make the choice to drive while drunk that is a decision that extends beyond yourself; about 10,000 people each year pay the price.
We all have seen the television commercials, the brochures, the school seminars warning students of the dangers behind drunk driving.
So why does it continue to prevail? For one thing, we need to be spoken to as adults. Often the drunk driving propaganda is more of a lecture than an actual discussion.
The first move then is to change the ways in which this issue is communicated rather than just demonstrating past cases of reckless driving that make the youth want to be a part of the discussion.
It is only when people make the active choice to join the fight against drunk driving that we will see any change.
Stand up and speak out against drunk driving, whether it is with a peer or an authority figure; let us start a discussion.