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With a frightening sound that only a V8 engine can make, the yellow monster lurched forward as I lost control of the wheel. When the cloud of dust settled seconds later, I realized that the car had driven up the hilly wall of earth to the right of me. With any quick movement, the car could have rolled off the hill, and, well, yeah. It was probably when I was extracting myself out of the car via the passenger door that my fear of driving first blossomed.

Everyone was in somewhat of a daze on the way home, but later my family teased me about it. I did not drive for quite a while after that incident. -- Jennie Matusova, La Jolla H.S. About six months ago, I was at the movies with some friends. One of them showed up with some vodka. The rest of us didn't object, so we drank it. Needless to say, the movie became a lot more enjoyable. After it was over, we stumbled out of the theater and began to head home. I wasn't driving, but I ended up going with the provider of the alcohol. Before we left, he did a drive around the parking lot, and then we got out and rode around in shopping carts.

After we got that out of our systems, we headed home. My friend's driving wasn't that impaired, but it was marked by random bursts of speed. Then we rolled by a cop near the entrance to Interstate 5. My friend wasn't happy about this, so he sped onto the freeway, saying that cops don't have jurisdiction on the freeway. In retrospect, this was completely unnecessary because the police weren't following us. If we hadn't gotten on the freeway, I would have been home in two minutes. Instead, we made a detour.

I got home no worse for wear, and he did too. It was pretty reckless, but he seemed to be fairly in charge of the situation. It was a dumb thing to do, but nothing bad came of it. -- Grant Barba, La Jolla H.S.

I was heading east on the 56 freeway, and I needed to get onto 15 North to pick up my mother's birthday present at North County Fair. I failed to notice the sign that says "no left turn." I sped into the intersection and hit an oncoming car on the backside. The pale faces of the children in the other car still send shivers down my spine. I was within a foot of hitting them where they sat. I jeopardized my life and that of others. I do not think I would be able to handle it if anyone had been injured.

My car accident was a result of reckless driving. Not a day goes by that I do not think about it -- how I could have avoided it and how much damage I caused. Compared to the van that I crashed into, my car was severely smashed. Damages amounted to $9000 for both cars. My insurance rate skyrocketed. It was an expensive lesson, but cheap when I think about the fact that nobody was hurt. -- Vivian Pham, Mt. Carmel H.S.

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