A Race To Death Essay

1494 words - 6 pages

From the era of James Dean, illegal street racing was the popular thing to do among the rebels of the time. Movies like "Rebel Without a Cause" and "Grease" inspired many to bring out their big-block Chevys and race them up and down the street, through the night, as people would watch in excitement (Lopez 4). As time changed, so did the generation of people and cars but street racing still stayed alive. The type of person racing can range from an auto mechanic to your everyday high school kid looking to have fun. The cars have changed from heavy big-block muscle cars to smaller light weight imports from Japan and Europe. Racing illegally against each other and away from police officers, accidents are happening and people are getting hurt more often. But what goes through the mind of and illegal street racer when they are getting ready to push that pedal to the floor? These cars with rebels behind the wheels are driving faster and more recklessly than James Dean could ever have imagined.Much like a drug addict, illegal street racers put other lives at risk along with their own for a few seconds of a simple adrenaline rush. To a hard-core group, street racing representssomething that their everyday lives cannot offer and is nothing less than a controlled substance, a missing link, and a step up in the psychic ladder (McGonegal, 8). Stephen Bender, a professor of public health at San Diego State University, estimates the fatality rate among young draggers at 6.5 per 1,000 in San Diego County. By comparison to regular drivers, the fatality rate is 1 per 1,000 (Wood 1). People watching on the side of the road as a race happens are at as much of a risk as the people driving the cars. If a car were to loose control, at the speed they are going, the people watching wouldn't have much of a chance to get out of the way before the car would come crashing into them. Most people cannot withstand an impact from a car going thirty miles an hour let alone going eighty miles an hour. This could be a good reason why Los Angeles City has made it illegal to watch races and can fine a person $250(Wood 1). Even if there was no one watching the race happen, most of the time, there are side roads where cars could pull out in front of an illegal street race, causing one or both cars to make instant decisions that could mean life or death.Illegal street racers wouldn't have to make that choice of life or death if they would make the choice to race legally. Local tracks around the U.S. and even the world offer open nights for anyone who wants to race their car safely, or race it a safer way than on the street. These events usually cost from ten to twenty dollars and last usually from 7 pm till about 12 or 1 am. A track in Arizona, Firebird International Raceway offers two nights a week for anyone of the age to come out and race his or her cars (Garcia np). Thursday nights are import car nights, where anyone with a car from outside of the U.S can come and race each other....

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