Till death us do part.
It may be beautiful to die for love in a poem.
But it's ugly and stupid to die for love in a car.
Yet how many times have you seen (or been) a couple more interested in passion than in passing? Too involved with living to worry about dying?
As a nation, we are allowing our young to be buried in tons of steel. And not only the reckless lovers -- the just plain nice kids as well.
Everyone is alarmed about it. No one really knows what to do. And automobile accidents, believe it or not, continue to be the leading cause of death among young people between 15 and 24 years of age.
Parents are alarmed and hand over the keys to the car anyway.
Insurance companies are alarmed and charge enormous rates which deter no one.
Even statisticians (who don't alarm easily) are alarmed enough to tell us that by 1970, 14,450 young adults will die in cars each year.
(Just to put those 14,450 young lives in perspective, that is far more than the number of young lives we have lost so far in Viet Nam.)
Is it for this that we spent our dimes and dollars to all but wipe out polio? Is it for this that medical science conquered diphtheria and smallpox?
What kind of society is it that keeps its youngsters alive only long enough to sacrifice them on the highway?
Yet that is exactly what's happening. And it's incredible.
Young people should be the best drivers, not the worst.
They have the sharper eyes, the steadier nerves, the quicker reflexes. They probably even have the better understanding of how a car works.
Are they too dense to learn? Too smart to obey the obvious rules? Too sure of themselves? Too un-sure? Or simply too young and immature?
How can we get them to be old enough to be wise enough before it's too late?
One way is by insisting on better driver training programs in school. Or after school. Or after work. Or during summers.
By having stricter licensing requirements. By rewarding the good drivers instead of merely punishing the bad ones. By having uniform national driving laws (which don't exist today). By having radio and TV and the press deal more with the problem. By getting you to be less complacent.
Above all, by setting a decent example ourselves.
Nobody can stop young people from driving. And nobody should. Quite the contrary. The more exposed they become to sound driving techniques, the better they're going to be. (Doctors and lawyers "practice;" why not drivers?)
We at Mobil are not preachers or teachers. We sell gasoline and oil for a living and we want everyone to be a potential customer.
If not today, tomorrow. And we want everyone, young and old, to have his fair share of tomorrows.
Mobil We want you to live.