A Race to Death

Essay by firemaidenHigh School, 11th grade June 2006

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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 represents

something 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...