Most of us have been affected by car accidents ? many of us have been involved in accidents or known someone who got in one.

I can only hope that the people who get in a car crash come out unharmed and are able to move past it. However, many times this is not the case. The situation can be worse. People can sustain long-term injuries or, even worse, lose their lives.

The bottom line is that too many people lose their lives or are badly hurt in car crashes.

With the holidays coming up, many people will be driving somewhere to be with friends and family. With the recent events and uncertainties of air travel, many of us will take to the highway.

I heard of horror stories about car accidents on the highway and I have also learned from my own experiences.

Last year after my final class, all I wanted to do was get out of Rochester. And at that time, I did some things that could have easily resulted in an accident.

I remember leaving to drive to New York City past midnight after a final, and being somewhat sleep deprived, because I just wanted to go home. I came dangerously close to falling asleep as the night went on into the wee hours of the morning.

Spring break, I was driving home and it began to snow on the way. I was confident in my abilities behind the wheel, but all that didn’t really matter when the car in front of me spun out of control. I came two feet from being involved in a potentially fatal accident.

The thing that was even scarier was that I had my best friend in the car with me. We have to realize that when we take risks driving, we jeopardize the lives of other people on the road at the same time. I was lucky because I did not suffer any negative consequences for my actions.

I am not trying to say that people are incapable of driving at night or in the snow. However, everyone should think about certain things before they start on the road.

Take into account how much sleep you’ve gotten and the possible weather conditions that you may come across while traveling. If you travel with others, make sure at least one person is awake with the driver. Also if you are going to a new place, be familiar with the directions beforehand.

There are other distractions like cell phones, but I am not the highway patrol. All I ask is that you use your better judgment when driving. Your actions affect others in countless ways.

Personally, I think we can all do our part to avoid tragedies resulting from car crashes.

Desai can be reached at

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