Street Racing: Putting The Brakes On Tragedy
Young teens are impressionable and many of today’s movies and television shows depict street racing as glamorous. However, educating them on the dangers surrounding this activity can help alleviate the tragedy that often follows these aggressive stunts.
What Is Street Racing?
Known as an illegal activity common among young adults, street racing is typically performed in front of a crowd of other teens who cheer on the active participants. Because it’s an unplanned event and can take place when emotions are at their highest, street racing fails to meet current safety standards. It can also injure and kill the drivers, spectators and other innocent people passing by.
Street Racing And Teens
One of the leading causes of death among teens is car accidents and road racing is a contributing factor to the numbers. The pressures to fit in can weigh heavily on a teen, making them participate in illegal activities. Street racing started in the Prohibition era when bootleggers made it a sport of trying to outrun the police. It became more prevalent in the 1950s when well-known movies such as “American Graffiti” popularized this dangerous pastime.
In today’s culture, movies such as “The Fast and the Furious” glamorized it as a way for teens to have fun. Although the filmmakers warn teens of the dangers involved in street racing, it may be opening the doors to the idea of the activity.
The Need for Speed
Street racing can take place for a number of reasons that can begin with performance. If a teen owns a vehicle that can take excessive rates of speed, they can boast about their vehicle’s actions. They typically also prove it by meeting in parking lots to show off their vehicles and test the performance. This dangerous activity also takes place on quiet country roads. Law enforcement officials are doing their best to curtail speed racing in teens but a mob mentality can often ensue, especially if there are a host of teens to witness the event.
Education and Prevention
While most prevalent in areas of high crime and gang activity, you’ll find street racing to be popular with teens everywhere. However, focus has been placed heavily on its prevention. There are groups in place such as Racers Against Street Racing that educate teens on the dangers of the activity and consequences of their actions. Injuries, jail, fines and even death can often be the outcome of their behaviors.
By addressing the realities to street racing through classrooms, graphic videos and driver’s education courses, educators can address the hazardous repercussions to teens. They also provide alternative methods for teens who want to prove how fast their vehicles can go. Local racetracks now offer legal street racing programs to teens and provide proof of the performance of their vehicle. Some of the local law enforcement agencies are even supporting the programs to ensure that teens stay safe.
Unfortunately, teens enjoy the thrill of speed and are willing to do whatever it takes to experience it. It’s up to the parents of the teens and cities where they reside to come up with alternative methods to ensure their safety and monitor their behavior.
Writer Nadine Swayne presents this article to help give insight to the underworld of street racing. While researching online, she came across the site http://dgtucson.com/, which offered valuable material regarding car accidents and what your rights are if injured in a race or as a result of one.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lindsayshaver/3265505273/