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Street Racing: Fun Yet Dangerous

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Street racing has become very popular among teenagers and young adults, many of whom don’t have the years of driving experience. Street racing has been around for years, but recently Hollywood and the media have had interest in entertaining us with this concept. They make it seem fine to street race in neighborhoods. What they don’t show is the dangers involved in such an action. Not only are there dangers involved, but also some legal action could take place. After all, street racing is illegal. Not only is the media fascinating us with street racing, but automakers are also racing to create the fastest cars on the market. I understand how tempting it is to race with someone you encounter, but one needs to stop and think of the consequences.
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The “Fast and the Furious,” “2 Fast 2 Furious” and “Gone in 60 Seconds” were three big hits when they were released in theaters. These were must-see films for all street racers in the world. These films sent out a message to teenagers and young adults showing them that it’s perfectly fine to street race. The movies encouraged car enthusiasts to go out and street race with other willing racers.

Films such as these are in stores and theaters to entertain people. They allow viewers to get a feeling of what one dreams of doing, yet they dare not do. People need to get a better understanding of this and realize they are not encouraging such crazy acts.

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Not only are there films on street racing, but also many TV shows have been created due to the outbreak of car enthusiasts. Two such programs are “Monster Garage” and “Fast Lane.” As the popularity of automotive racing increases, the media will follow along to add the extra octane boost to its viewers.

Street racing could potentially end ones life. A large number of deaths each year in the United States is due to car accidents. According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for people aged 16 to 20. People tend not to take the risk of death into consideration. One believes that they will be just fine in their car with airbags and a seat belt. What they do not consider is that they are traveling at high speeds and if anything were to go wrong, a fatal crash may potentially occur.

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Street racers are not only risking their lives, but they are also putting innocent pedestrian lives at risk. Having people race their cars in neighborhoods is just not an option. It is really worth putting lives at risk for the sake of street racing? I certainly don’t believe so. If one has put so much time, effort and money into making their car fast and attractive, why not just race legally at a drag strip.

Street racing is illegal. There are serious consequences involved if one gets caught in the act. Drivers can potentially have their licenses revoked, which is a major downturn for a car enthusiast who lives, eats and sleeps cars. Having one’s car impounded for days or months is a sad situation.

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Street racers need to understand that they are affecting their community. Many local and national organizations are encouraging racers to take it to the track. One recent article on the NHRA.com website touted: “Checkers Schuck’s Kragen Auto Parts and the National Hot Rod Association Have Joined Forces to Educate the Youth of America on the Dangers of Street Racing and the Benefits of Racing at Licensed Race Tracks Under Controlled Conditions.”

Teaching drivers about the dangers and criminal problems involved in reckless driving will certainly open their eyes to realize what they are getting themselves into. Having races at local tracks is the best way to go. There will eventually be a need for an expansion on the creation of new tracks to suit the expanding sport of automotive racing. These tracks are built for racing so there is no need to worry about traction or injuring bystanders. A benefit to racing at a track is that one is given a time slip. This way one can see how their car is performing. Not only that, but it can serve as proof of ones performance opposed to someone blabbering on how fast their car is. Taking it to the track could save hundreds or even thousands of lives around the world.

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“Too many people don’t understand the power of the automotive,” said Dell Worsham, CSK Funny Car driver, in a recent interview. Many racers discourage racing at tracks because they don’t believe it is manly. They want to show that they are capable of handling the streets.

After years of racing around my neighborhood, I finally understand the dangers involved. I now avoid racing in streets and encourage myself to show off my driving skills at local tracks. If one just puts their talents in to something useful, one will have a good future. My advice – Avoid the streets and take it to the tracks.

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Automakers today continue to develop and produce faster vehicles. This further adds to the possibilities of teenagers and young adults street racing. Automakers should be working on the safety of the car and not as much on performance. This would allow those who want to race their cars to modify them.

Street racing will continue to gain popularity throughout the years. As it becomes more and more common, Hollywood and the media will continue to entertain people with this concept. Teenagers and young adults need to see that what they do affects them and their community. The mortality rate of those killed by automotive accidents needs to drop. The only possible way of achieving such a goal is by educating the drivers. By having races at local drag strips, many lives will be saved. If one does not see this as an option, there is no need to be racing. Life is too short and one must live to enjoy it.

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Romualdo Perez is a graduate of Monterey High School, Monterey, CA, and currently attends Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Butte, MT.

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