“I can still picture myself getting closer and closer to her car while slamming my foot on the brakes as hard and fast as I could,” recalls Brooke Ferraro ’13. Ferraro’s summer car crash occurred after a “nice day at the beach with my volleyball seniors.”
The car in front of her belonged to fellow player, Nicole Cibu ’13, who was “stopped, waiting for the guy in front of me to turn in to his drive way” when Ferraro hit her. “I know it’s cliché, but I took my eyes off the road for one second, [when] I looked down at the GPS,” she admits. “This just goes to show how something simple can ruin a good day.”
Unfortunately these type of car crashes seem to be a trend at Bethel High School. Another accident happened only a few weeks ago when the field hockey team was driving to an indoor practice in New Milford. “I looked up and all I see is Priscilla fly into the back of Lily [Ziegler] and then Lily’s car bump in to Phoebe [Ziegler’s car],” says Nicole Meadows ’13, who witnessed the accident. Once again both involved cars were totaled.
Any distraction or momentary lapse of attention to the road could be the reason for an accident. According to Forbes, “A 2008 study from AAA says using a cellphone while driving almost quadruples the risk of crashing. What’s more, the risks that come with using a hands-free phone are just as high as those from holding a phone in your hand.” Furthermore, “in 2010 alone, over 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes,” as, stated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In light of her new experiences, Cibu cautions, “You need to focus on the road. If you have your music blasting as a new driver, you aren’t going to focus as much. It takes time until you get used to the art of driving. A car is a big piece of metal. It is going to hit things.”
The aftermath of a crash is truly dreadful. Ferraro states, “As for consequences, there certainly were a handful. The ticket fee was about the least of my concerns. I had no car for starters, and it was summer of my senior year. Getting rides was difficult when both my parents and I needed to be places. And the biggest one is losing a lot of respect as a driver. I now get constant reminders to not touch the radio or have the music too loud or drive too fast. I certainly understand that as parents they would be more cautious now, but that was a big consequence.”
Cibu’s biggest disappointment was the “lack of freedom” that she experienced after losing a car. “It is as if you had all this freedom and then it was just snatched away from you.”
In hindsight Ferraro advises “not worrying about anything but the road.” Although her license was not suspended, Ferraro warns, ”license suspension can happen easily, so try not to get into trouble on the road!”