When Are We Going To Learn? | Teen Ink

When Are We Going To Learn?

January 30, 2008
By Anonymous

When Are We Going To Learn?

So when are we going to learn? What will it take for everyone to realize that drinking and driving is not a joke? Seeing our friends die isn’t enough? Death is as serious as it gets, what more can it take? We’ve seen it happen way too many times. We never should have had to experience it once, and now it’s just getting worse. Does the death of our friends not matter to anyone? Does everyone sit there thinking, “It can’t happen to me?” When you see your friend, who you very well know that he’d been drinking all night, hop into the drivers’ seat, why do you just watch it happen? So when he gets into an accident that night, you can think that you could have done something about it, and didn’t? Do we all enjoy that guilt?

So when an accident occurs, it isn’t only the driver who is at fault ... what about all the people who watched him try to drive safely; all the people who encouraged him to drive home because he was the least drunk out of everyone.

You know, accidents happen often to people when they are sober. The chances of an accident occurring after someone has been drinking are so much higher … why risk it? I know there isn’t one person out there who enjoys losing their friends. There isn’t one person out there who is asking for an accident to occur. Then why do you sit back and let it happen? It’s basically the same thing … knowing someone has been drinking, and then watching them get into a car to drive; it’s indirect murder, wouldn’t you agree? And then after an accident occurs, you feel like you could have done something to prevent it, right? Is that a good feeling? Do you enjoy having that guilt on you?

Is it really that hard to go out and have a good time with friends, and for one night, have one person not drink? Why doesn’t this happen? Is it really that hard to designate a driver? Do your friends’ lives really not mean that much to you that it makes no difference whether or not they get into an accident on the way home? Or even yourself, do you really not value your life enough to let someone drive you home, after you know they’ve been drinking?

When are we going to learn? It seems like it always takes a tragic accident to happen to realize that drinking and driving is not a joke. And then it will affect everyone for what, one, maybe two weeks? Everyone will always go back to their same old ways again. Don’t deny it, you know it’s true. Everyone will be cautious and aware until they hear about that party that Joey is having tonight. So go ahead and drink and drive, because death doesn’t bother you, right? It obviously hasn’t yet. We keep seeing our friends’ lives get taken away in the blink of an eye, but nobody is learning. What will it take?

Everyone gets so mad when they get pulled over by a cop on the way home on a Friday night, right? You were so close to home and you see the cop lights in your rearview mirror. What if that happened that night our friend was killed? Be glad that you got caught driving under the influence, your life was saved. True, the next six months of you driving on the roads are suddenly gone. You got a DUI. How horrible, right? I know many people are thankful that you did get a DUI; count me in on that one. What if that cop never caught you that night? There was a good chance that you never would have made it home. They say accidents happen closest to home.

What if that same cop that pulled you over two weeks ago, was out on the road that night we all lost our friend. How thankful would you be? Or wouldn’t you be? Would you think that the cops were just always out to get you and your friends? Would you say “they have nothing better to do than to pull us over?” It’s not the fact that they are just pulling you over; they are saving your life. And yes, it might seem like a hassle when you get pulled over. But what we don’t realize is the fact that him pulling you over, could have just saved your life. You would never know what could have happened if he didn’t pull you over. Maybe you wouldn’t be here today, maybe you would; maybe your friends wouldn’t be here today, maybe they would. How does that affect you? If it had any effect on us, we would all smarten up right now and realize that this is not a joke; it has never been a joke and it will never be a joke. Drinking and driving is a serious issue that is killing so many of our friends, and we are just watching it happen.

Go out and have a good time with your friends. Go get completely obliterated at that party, go get crazy drunk at the club, have a blast, but have a designated driver. I know you are probably thinking that it sucks to be the one that can’t drink. But how much worse would it be if instead of the one not drinking, it’s the one not living. Or if instead of you and your six best friends being out, it’s you and now only your five best friends.

Is it that we don’t value our friendships enough? It seems as if we are asking for these accidents to occur. We are feeding into them like gasoline on a fire. Accidents happen, add drugs or alcohol to the problem and it becomes more severe.

What will it take for everyone to realize that we are not invincible? Accidents do happen, and people do die. Why increase the chances of losing a friend, a loved one, when we can do something about it?

It doesn’t make sense. And for the rest of my life, I will wonder what makes people so gullible to believe that they are okay to drive. For the rest of my life I will wonder why people think that it is ok to let their friends drive drunk. You are not only risking your friend’s life, but you are risking your own life as well.

And what about the other people out there on the road? Those innocent people that are getting killed by drunk drivers, does that not affect you? How selfish is that? And it’s not the scare of being charged for vehicular manslaughter, but the fact that you just took someone’s loved one. You just caused an innocent family a nightmare,

It isn’t worth it … friends are too valuable in our lives to keep losing them at the rate we are going. No one learns until someone gets hurt, but even then, does it really change things?

That severe accident in 2006, where two boys were killed on Route 8, I know it affected so many people. But honestly, did you stop drinking and driving? Did you stop your friend from getting behind that wheel after you knew he was drinking all night? Or were you the one in the back seat who gave your car keys to your friend in hopes that he was just a little less drunk than you were?

So what is the magic number? How many friends do we have to lose in order for us to realize that drinking and driving is not a joke? Is it 6? 7? 8? Just how many deaths of our friends are we going to experience before we learn? We are getting up there, a little too fast if I do say so myself.

We all know how bad it hurts us to suffer a loss. Look around; you aren’t the only one crying. Look at all of your friends. Their eyes are filled with tears just as much as yours are. Doesn’t that pain send a chill through your spine? It hurts even worse to know that all of your friends can’t even make you feel better; nothing can. Healing takes time, that’s the only remedy. How much time do we think we have? We are watching our young lives drift away as we mourn the loss of our loved ones; it shouldn’t be happening like this.

No accident is intentional, hence the word accident. But if we know that we are doing something wrong, and fail to stop it, it is more or less asking for something bad to happen.

None of us would ever harm our friends intentionally, we all know that. So why are we so ignorant when we know that our friends have been drinking? Call someone for a ride home. Help is only a phone call away.

I didn’t want this to turn out as a lecture on drinking and driving. That was not my intention at all. We have all heard it before, “Friends don’t let friends drink and drive” and I know you have all been lectured many times. How much more do we need to be lectured, to actually listen? How much more do we need to see to realize that it does happen? Seeing is believing; believe it.

We have all been hit with a rude awakening; not just this once, but in the past as well. Did we forget how badly it hurts? Did we fail to recognize the pain that everyone goes through when they suffer a loss?

Life doesn’t give second chances. When are we going to learn?

As a prompter for this article, my heart goes out to everybody who was affected by the tragic accident that occurred on December 2, 2007. Rest in peace Chris, you were one of a kind. You will be missed unconditionally.

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