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Inexperience prompts car accidents

The car stalls, the radio blasts, yet the only noise from the engine is a series of clicks. Other cars enter the intersection and it looks like there could be an accident. But, just in the nick of time, the clicks stop and the engine revs loudly as the car rattles to safety on the side of the road.

For new drivers around the world, the realization of oncoming dangers and responsibilities concerning their new privilege can be shocking. Looks and dream cars are often sacrificed for the ability to drive.

“I don’t really care about the kind of car I have,” Timothy Westra, ’05, said. “I’m just glad it gets me where I need to go.”

The deficiency in the use of seatbelt restraints has accounted for the majority of injuries in even minor car accidents, as demonstrated by Derek George, ’06.

“I love my car,” George said. “It’s huge! Over the summer I got in an accident in my Chevy Blazer. Some guy T-boned me after he ran a stop sign. I wasn’t wearing my seatbelt so I got thrown to the other side of the car when it was spinning around. The Blazer was totaled so now I get to drive this beast.”

As first year drivers, experience comes in handy when faced with tough situations.

“I rear ended this guy on the way to school last year and since then I’ve been a more offensive driver,” Micah Walker, ’05, said. “Nothing really came out of it except that I had to pay the three thousand dollars in repairs. But it was still a lot to think about and a lot of drama for my family that could have been prevented.”

For students, pricey insurance and repairs hinder the dream of getting a car.

“I chose to play sports instead of getting a job to pay for my car insurance,” Jennifer VandenHoek, ’06, said. “But even if I did have my license and was able to pay for insurance, I still wouldn’t have a car to drive.”

For senior Saagar Patel, the possession of a driver’s license is unnecessary.

“I don’t have a drivers license because I don’t really go anywhere,” Saagar Patel, ’05, said. “I don’t have need for one, so my parents just take me everywhere. Plus all that’s too expensive.”

Although teens are blamed for the majority of accidents, they are not always at fault.

“Some guy sideswiped my car when it was parked in my neighborhood,” Kacie Filgas, ’05, said. “He backed into the side of my car and there were black marks all over it. He paid for the $2,000.00 in repairs and me and my mom are getting the car repainted.”

The embarrassment students experience after locking their leys in their car is not a foreign feeling for senior Afshin Saffarzadeh.

“One day at school I accidentally locked my keys in my car,” Saffarzadeh said. “I tried to open it myself with a hanger but I ended up breaking it and now I have to get into my car through the passenger side. That same day the battery died so I couldn’t drive it anywhere.”

For more information students and parents can contact the high school office at 299-1695 ext. 5 or to learn more about cars and insurance, visit www.dmv.ca.gov.

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