2021 PFL Scholarship Recipient: Daniel Alexander
Thank you to 2021 PFL Scholarship Recipient, Daniel Alexander, for providing this post.
I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to the Lutzie 43 Foundation for selecting me as one of the Prepared For Life Scholarship recipients. Although it is helping my family and me financially, this scholarship means so much more to me. Philip’s legacy impacted me tremendously, and I am excited to carry on his legacy and do my part in preventing distracted driving.
Growing up an Auburn fan, Philip Lutzenkirchen was among the most influential men in my life. His athletic ability combined with the love for the game, Philip’s energy radiated through the TV screen and excited me when I watched Auburn football. Now, as a senior in high school, I am able to read about the impact that Philip had not just on me but his community as a whole. The leadership qualities that Philip possessed are qualities that I strive to exhibit in my daily life.
As I learned to drive with my parents and got ready to take the driver’s test, the only thing that I was concerned about was the freedom that I would get once I started driving. I knew that driving could be dangerous, but I did not fully understand the inherent responsibility behind the wheel. A month after turning sixteen and gaining the freedom that I had hoped for so long, I pulled right in front of another car in an intersection and totaled my car and the other car involved. Although no airbags were deployed and nobody was injured, the accident was severe nonetheless and endangered several other people’s lives. This crash opened my eyes to the responsibility of being a driver. I felt horrible for being so naive in my duties. I quickly made changes in my life to learn from my mistake. I enrolled in Montevallo’s Young Driver Risk Reduction course and actively learned how to be a responsible driver on the road and keep myself and others safe. Although this accident was extremely dangerous, I believe that this event provided me with the opportunity to learn from my mistakes and educate myself on the responsibilities of driving before something worse happened.
After my wreck, as I became aware of the dangers of driving, I became an advocate for safe driving among my friends. I make sure that when I am driving, I remove any distractions from my car as well as remove distractions as I’m riding with others when they are driving. Signing the 43 Key Seconds pledge reminded me of the importance of safe and distraction-free driving. Nothing is more important than safety when driving, and I hope to keep myself and my friends safe by emphasizing safety. Whether I am driving or not, I make sure that everyone is buckled up when I am in the car. If the other person involved in my wreck or I had not had our seatbelt on, it would have been significantly worse. I emphasize that wearing a seatbelt is the easiest way to prevent injuries. After my experience with my wreck and hearing about Philip and other individuals’ stories about distracted driving, I have seen the significance of responsible driving in everyone’s lives on the road.
I am incredibly excited to be a part of the Lutzie 43 Foundation as I continue to advocate for safe driving in the following stages of my life. I hope to bring my story as well as Philip’s legacy with me to college and teach others the steps that they can take to prevent distracted driving.