Congratulations to Kailyn McMinn, 18, of Madison, Conn., who is the recipient of the 2020 Rosenberg & Gluck L.L.P. Auto Safety and Technology Scholarship. Kailyn is a first-year student at Southern Connecticut State University, where she plans to study special education.
Kailyn wrote a detailed, thoroughly researched essay on auto safety and the role technology has played in its development. New cars are safer than ever, that’s true. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been keeping traffic death statistics since its inception in 1970.
“According to the NHTSA, a car on the road in 2012 had a 56 percent lower fatality risk compared to a car built in the 1950’s. The NHTSA attributes this reduction in fatality risk to improved safety technologies. The number of estimated lives saved as a result of the technological advancements is over 600,000 since 2012,’’ McMinn wrote.
Then Kailyn took her essay in a different direction and cautioned drivers against relying on this technology to the detriment of road safety.
“Approximately 25 percent of drivers who had cars equipped with this technology felt comfortable not checking blind spots manually or doing other tasks while driving,’’ she wrote, citing an AAA study.
Rosenberg & Gluck established this scholarship to support deserving students and to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Kailyn’s essay lays out how drivers can be lulled into a sense of security by all of this technology and forget that they have a duty to stay alert and continue best practices, no matter how advanced the warning systems are.
Kailyn is a natural risk-taker, but not when it comes to driving. She is a professional Alpine skier and a ski racer. She has also taught skiing to all age groups at Mount Southington Ski Area since 2017. Being a ski instructor confirmed her love of teaching, she said — especially young children.
Kailyn was raised in a teaching family. Her father, Bryce, is a high school science teacher, and her mother, Angela, teaches second grade.
If you’re interested in applying for the Auto Safety and Technology Scholarship, check out our rules and regulations.