Story by Zachary Avery, Editor-in-Chief
Like many of you surely do, I distinctly remember what it meant to me to receive my driver’s license at 16-years-old. I had sudden newfound freedom and confidence, now with a plastic little card guaranteeing that I could go anywhere I wanted. Shortly after that first test drive in my parents’ car came a new milestone: Receiving a car of my very own. Purchased by yours truly, this magnificent machine was all to myself. I was so proud of that first, little car. But, I was also proud of the second one. And the third one, too…
Car accidents are awful. It sparks a level of hopelessness and vulnerability that isn’t easy to shake during your next trip on the road. If you’ve ever been apart of a crash, you’ll know what I mean. Cars of mine have spunout, getting totaled right there on the freeway. Others have slowly died over time, giving way to rusty brake lines or poor power steering. And my most recent incident, one involving a vehicle loaned to me for a 16-hour trip to South Carolina, lost its back wheel right on the highway. Maybe “lost” is too sweet of a word. It rocketed off the car.
Why do we subject ourselves to these terrifying, inconvenient and sometimes, even deadly, altercations? The freedom of the open road pales in comparison to the fear I felt being a sitting duck at a very busy intersection over 1,000 miles away from home for several hours. No one should go through that.
And why should one little thing in this monster machine (a wheel, for example) be enough to hinder and sabotage the entire device? What other fixture in our modern life has this fragile of a design? If my cell phone shatters on the pavement, my warranty can cover a replacement. If I’m two minutes late for the bus, I can simply walk or Uber to school. If I forget to pack a lunch, I can order a delivery. If I’m sick during class, I can just Zoom in.
If my car suddenly stops working, I could lose my life.
I’m not suggesting that this risk is unacceptable. It’s been made clear to me ever since my first driver’s training class that operating an automobile is an incredibly dangerous privilege. For some, it might be worth it. For others, and for me, it is time for an alternative.
Show your AQ card on the bus. It’s only $0.25 a ride.