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Featured Essay: Key to Safe Teen Driving Scholarship Winner

Lauren Perry, from Hawken School in Gates Mills, Ohio, was the essay category winner of the inaugural Key to Safe Teen Driving Scholarship. She received the award on Friday, February 8 from representatives of KeyBank, The Mid-Ohio School and the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Her essay, along with a photo from the presentation, is below. The Mid-Ohio School is thankful for teens like Lauren who share the importance of safe driving with their friends, teammates and family.

When I first got my license, that small little card represented all the new freedom and independence I had. I couldn’t wait to take my friends driving with me and to crank my stereo up as loud as it would go. However, these ideas were put to a halt when my dad put his foot down and said that I would still not be driving alone, let alone with one or more of my friends in the other seats of my car. I pouted a lot but had to comply with the new rules he had made. I complained to my fellow, newly driving friends as we drove, dangerously fast down the road. Once my friend whipped out her phone to respond to her boyfriend’s text, I realized why my dad had made all these rules and had made me take more than the necessary driving classes. Before I said anything to my 16 year old friend, I looked around the car at my other friends who were in the car, illegally. It really made me think, what would happen if we got in to a crash? I could die, or be the lone survivor and have to feel the burden of their deaths for the rest of my life. Once I flashed back to reality, I told my friend to give me the phone, that I would text him for her, and asked her how SHE would feel if she injured all of her closest friend because of one stupid text message. That day, I realized why I should be a safe driver and become an example for all of my friends. That is why I do not text and drive, drive more people than the law allows, or exceed the speed limit.
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