Educated is a memoir written by Tara Westover. In this memoir, Westover describes her childhood growing up in a rural town in Idaho with her family. Her parents, Gene (her father) and Faye (her mother), were survivalist Mormons who did not believe in education or modern medicine. They also were extremely anti-government. Throughout the memoir, Westover describes experiences she had with her family, many of these being serious accidents.
Westover describes two specific car accidents. Both of these accidents could have been avoided had Gene, Westover's father, not demanded that the family drive in unsafe conditions.
The first accident occurs in chapter four of the memoir. In this chapter, Westover explains that her family took a road trip to Arizona to visit her grandparents. Late at night, they began the trip back to Idaho. One of her brothers, Tyler, was driving. Because it was late at night, he fell asleep at the wheel. This accident caused Faye, Westover's mother, to suffer a serious head injury. Gene, not believing that modern medical care and doctors would be able to help his wife, decided not to get medical help. Because of this accident, Faye had brain damage.
The second accident occurs in chapter ten of the memoir. In this chapter, Westover describes another time when her father made the family begin the return trip, once again from Arizona, in the middle of the night. In this accident, Westover herself seriously injured her neck. A different brother, Shawn, adjusted her neck even though he has no chiropractic education.
The Westover family also experienced other accidents, several taking place in their junkyard. Overall, these accidents were caused because of the fact that Westover's father is stubborn and controlling. He often put his family in dangerous situations and then did not seek help due to his personal beliefs.
At the end of the memoir, Westover explains that she needed to learn to take control of her own life by making the difficult decision to separate herself from most of her family members and their narrow belief systems.