Opinion: A new driver’s life-altering experience

Morgan Loy

Getting a car back in June could not have been a happier moment for me. I was one of the last of my friends to drive on my own, and the anticipation killed me. While my parents slightly disagreed, I thought I was a good driver. I didn’t speed, and I could parallel park with my eyes closed. (Just kidding, of course.)

It wasn’t until I was driving down US 42 one Saturday afternoon that I realized my driving and attention skills needed improvement: I slammed head-on into the back of a truck.

When I got my bearings, I realized that I had rear-ended a stopped truck that was about to cross left into a neighborhood. I was going 45, and the impact of the air bags against my body had me in a lot of pain. Luckily, I didn’t break any bones—mine or the other driver’s—however, I totalled the car I’d only had for a couple of weeks, and caused a lot of damage to the truck I’d hit. My parents were furious.

In fact, the wreck was enough for my parents to take me away from the wheel until I made some major improvements. They found a program in Frankfort held by state troopers called Drive To Stay Alive and signed me up.

The thought of being with 33 new drivers from small counties around Kentucky in a five-day “driving camp” was, for me, the furthest thing from an appealing way to spend my time. But I didn’t even try to argue with my parents, because I knew this was my only ticket to driving on my own again.

Contrary to my original predictions, after those five days of driving on my own in a cop car, learning how to avoid over-correcting, and having the time of my life while learning so much about safe driving techniques, I didn’t want to leave Frankfort. I even won the Top Gun Award given out to 2 of the 33 participants! It was truly an honor. And now, it’s my turn to share all the information I learned with my classmates.

For the next six months, I plan to hold assemblies, seat belt checks, and many other events that will help advertise how important it is to be a safe teen driver. I hope to have the effect on people that the Drive To Stay Alive program had on me.

Car wrecks are the number one cause for teen death in Kentucky and I am striving to change that. These next few months are going to be very eventful for Manual, Louisville and myself. I can’t wait to share my experiences. Manual, sit back and buckle up!

Morgan Loy is a senior in CMA. She is the people’s section editor for the yearbook and a staff writer for Manual Redeye. She hopes to use everything she has learned in communications and apply it to her future career.