Being sixteen means that getting my license is just around the corner (I hope), and purchasing my first car will follow soon after. I have a few main priorities when purchasing a car, the top one being gas mileage. I live in Boston, and travel in and out of the city constantly; I cannot afford to be trucking around in a gas guzzler. Another big priority of mine is safety. I have two younger brothers (twelve and nine) and a baby sister that isn’t even a year old yet. I would love to one day be able to drive them to school dances or football games or ballet recitals, but that won’t be an option if my car is a run down death trap. I will most likely buy a used car, money is a big factor for me in choosing a vehicle and my options are limited (as of now). I don’t mind a clunker as long as I can get from point a to point b without slipping breaks or loosing power of steering (which is terrifying by the way). Having a working heat/AC system is a must for me as well, living in New England is no joke when it comes to weather.
A really good friend of mine, Gus, is a car fanatic; he has had all kinds of beautiful American muscle – but not all in the best of shape. On the Fourth of July last year it was raining and we went out for a spin in his camaro (no pun intended). It was a seemingly sturdy IROC Z, and I am a huge fan of speed rides. With our friend Nick following closely behind in his similarly gorgeous camaro Gus began swerving and pulling tricks on the empty road. On the third swerve he lost power of steering completely; the car had no seatbelts and the metal on the doors was all exposed (the normal door padding had been worn off completely). Screws and sharp metal were sticking out on all sides. As Gus tried to regain control, I watched him steer with the weight of his whole body; he flew from the drivers seat into my lap, and my face hit the door frame. The car did a 360 spin into the next lane and took out a buildings chain link fence completely. Luckily Gus and I were both unharmed, and Nick was far enough to have steered clear of us (although he had been imitating the same tricks behind us before the crash). For the first time in my life, I realized how dangerous cars can actually be – I hadn’t been in a crash like that since I was very little and it was a much needed perspective shift. The cheap, semi-functioning, good looking car was nowhere near worth what an ugly, safe and practical vehicle was. A joy ride was not worth my life then, nor will it ever be. Knowing what I do now, I absolutely think I can make a more educated decision when it comes time for me to buy a vehicle – especially if I am buying used from someone. I know what the big expensive issues can be, and unlike other kids my age, I am looking for something more reliable than enjoyable.