PHS students recount their wildest stories on the road

Taylor SanFilippo

More stories from Taylor SanFilippo


Photo Courtesy of Nick Lavin

Lavin’s car lies in a field near the site where he was run off the road.

Stereotypically, teenagers are seen as reckless, rash and incapable of planning ahead. This same assumption extends to the road.

For some, sharing the road with a freshly minted driver is a nerve racking, stress inducing experience. And while a reckless teen on the road could potentially be the cause of a serious accident, the little mistakes they make while learning the way of the wheel often turn into entertaining tales.

“My first official car was stick-shift,” senior Hannah Sears said. “[But] my mom never actually taught me how to drive [manual]. I was parked in my driveway when she told me to go out to start the car and I popped the clutch, so instead of jumping backwards, it jumped forwards, and hit the corner of my garage. It didn’t hurt the garage door or the car, but the siding and framework of my garage is falling off now.”

Unfortunately, garage doors aren’t the only casualties on the road. Unsuspecting wildlife are often victims of teen driving as well.

“We hit a pheasant in [a] Toyota Tundra on the highway,” said senior Tristan Gillette. “We didn’t see it after [we hit it] so when we got home there was a perfect hole right where the Toyota emblem was. It was still half alive when we pulled it out.”

Sometimes the most dangerous thing for someone to hit is the road itself. When the stress of sharing the road with a new driver is too much to handle, road rage takes over. However, teens aren’t always to blame.

“I was driving home from Cowley,” senior Nick Lavin said. “And got behind a semi-truck coming out of town. He was going pretty slow, but I wasn’t in a rush so I decided to just follow behind him. Eventually I decided to try to pass, but he sped up so I tried to go back behind him. But then he slowed down again, blocking me from getting back in the lane.”

Lavin was stuck at high speeds on the wrong side of a two lane highway.

“Oncoming traffic was getting closer,” Lavin said. “So I swerved off the other side of the road. My wheels hit the gravel and it ripped one of the tires off. I ended up clearing a fence and hitting the ground again. The car started rolling and I thought for sure I was dead, but somehow I got out of it without hurting anyone else.”

After the fact, Lavin likes to joke about his head-on collision with the beautiful Wyoming countryside. 

Accidents on the road are common, and while many are lucky to make it out relatively unscathed, it’s still very important to make sure that drivers are aware of their surroundings

Making sure to not drive when tired or impaired is a must, and driving at the speed limit while keeping attention on the road, which means no texting and driving, can be the difference between a funny story and a life-threatening encounter.