A student's perspective

Hear what one of Angela Presland's students had to say when we asked his thoughts about The Honest Truth;   

Of course, I’d be delighted to help. I’ve attached a photo of me and my little cousin.

I attended a ‘Learn 2 Live’ event with secondary school, when I was 16 (I’m 23 now) and it was some of the most hard-hitting hours I have ever experienced. The normal distracted whispers that you hear in a big school crowd was replaced by silence. Everyone knew how serious this was, and how devastating it must be for the parents how have outlived their own children, simply because of a road traffic collision that could have been avoided.

The messages behind The Honest Truth are so important. The statistics - particularly about speed - emphasise how one moment of distraction behind the wheel can lead to fatal consequences: not just for the drivers involved, but their passengers and their families too.

What struck me the most is how small changes in speed can make a real difference if the car ended up in a collision. If you’re driving at 35mph, your chances of killing a pedestrian more than double than if you’re driving at the speed limit. All cars nowadays, if the driver is not paying due care and attention, can speed up to 35mph without much trouble. If a person’s attention isn’t fully being given to the road, then accidents will never stop happening.

It’s important for young people to realise that, although almost everyone learns to drive, it doesn’t stop making them dangerous. Every time we step into our vehicles, we have the potential to cause injury, or even worse. It is our responsibility every single day to drive properly and safely, and people can often forget that.

My attitude to driving has definitely been changed by The Honest Truth’s messages. It will also make me proactive when I see my friends thinking about having a drink before they drive, or checking their mobile whilst driving - especially as the passenger is often the person most at risk if a collision happens! It is up to every individual, person by person, to change attitudes and make driving safer. As more and more cars take to the roads, more and more incidents rear their head whilst driving. Everyone could benefit from, once in a while, refreshing themselves on the dangers of the road that yourself - and others - can cause.

I was having a chat with Angie about this when we finished our lesson this morning and mentioned how my Dad likes to play driving games on the PlayStation. Quite a few years ago, he played the game after a few cans of lager. His driving was so much worse than normal, and he kept crashing into barriers because the drink had made his reaction time so much slower. This could actually be a safe (and fun) way to show to young people the effects that alcohol has on the system when driving, and how important it is to stay sober behind the wheel. Split second decisions can happen on any drive - it’s important we have the capacity to make them.

 

Published: 1st June 2018

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