A Blog for the Young

Youth is a wonderful thing, but there are some aspects of it that are scary. For example, inexperience can lead to situations from which a youthful person may end up in a place from which recovery might be difficult. There is also the problem of death. Many young people truly believe death is something that happens to others; it’ll never happen to them, because they drive better than their friend who was killed on the highway, or they waterski better than anyone on the lake, or perhaps they are the best snowboarder on the slopes.

Another thing about being young is not realizing the consequences of your actions. The decisions you make as a young person can have an everlasting impact on the rest of your life. Some youngsters have been taught well by their parents, some still have not got the message.

I had a discussion the other day about “Florida drivers.” I took exception to a comment in the dialogue because it was made by a youthful visitor from UN (Up North). It seems this individual did not like Florida drivers because they could not drive well, and they were old. I had to remind the speaker that drivers in Florida were predominantly transplants from areas of the north. Coming across a true, natural-born Floridian today is tantamount to finding that lucky four-leaf clover.

I pointed out that many of those on the roads in Florida were young drivers who tended to take too much risk by driving fast, carelessly, and in some cases, recklessly. Throughout my life, I have heard all the reasons they do it—speed is fun, everyone drives fast, I’m late, 70 mph is too slow. When I was a kid, I echoed some of those excuses myself. Here’s the deal, if you are lucky—really lucky—you might get pulled over and get a ticket.

You will be mad as hell about it, I’m sure. You will think it is unfair. You will be irritated by the officer. You will really regret the fines and points. You will blame everyone except the person who is to really blame. Yourself.

If you are unlucky, you might kill someone.

Oh, I know, you didn’t mean to, it was an accident. But there is that officer again, or another, or several, collecting the facts surrounding what happened. When they finish, they might charge you with speeding and reckless operation of a motor vehicle, resulting in death. At the moment, you don’t realize it, but your life may possibly have just ended.

If the family of your victim sues, and they most likely will, you are going to be responsible for paying that judgment. It could be a judgment totaling millions of dollars. And you are going to have to pay every last penny.

You say you have insurance? That should take of it, right? If your policy limit is $1 million and the judgment is for $3 million, you are going to responsible for $2 million out of pocket. That means the court will decide what it costs you to live on a very basic, no-frills budget and everything you make beyond that, goes to the victims until the debt is paid.

 How do I know about such things as this?

In another lifetime long ago, this exact same scenario played out with a friend of mine. I happened to be standing with him when he got word from the court that he and his parents had made the last payment satisfying the debt.

Be careful out there and be responsible.

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©2020 J. Clark
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