Teen Driving

Emily Burris, Online Editor

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Teenager’s ears are filled with one liners about how they should not be on the road because of the accidents caused. Some may think that adults are simply overreacting. Although taking teenagers off the road is not the answer, they are definitely to blame for a majority of vehicle accidents.

There are many factors that cause teenagers to get into more accidents than the average adult. One of the most prominent is that they have less experience behind the wheel than a person who is older than them.The lack of experience makes teenagers more prone to engaging in activities that could take their attention from the road. Some of these distractions could include cell phones, messing with the radio, or talking to the people in their car.

The CDC reports that teenagers ages 16-19 are three times more likely to be involved in a car wreck than even someone who is 20 years old. Teens driving with teen passengers also increases the risk with each teen passenger that is involved. Another factor involved is seat belts. Obviously this does not make a person crash but it has to do with the death rate of teens killed by accidents. In 2017 a survey revealed that 59 percent of high school students reported that they did not wear seat belts when riding as a passenger. Teenagers also have a tendency to underestimate hazardous driving conditions such as heavy traffic, severe weather, and even their ability to drive. Although illegal, high schoolers engage in drinking alcohol and in some cases the student will decide to drive themselves home rather than choosing a safer route to get them self home. This could be due to them not wanting an adult to find out or just because they think that they are fine. This lack of judgement makes accidents more likely. In 2016 15 percent of teenage drivers involved in a fatal accident had a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of .08 percent or higher.

Before you get in the car think about these things. 11 teens die everyday as a result of texting and driving. Everyday, six teens between the ages of 16-19 suffer fatal injuries in car accidents. About one-quarter of fatal teen car accidents involve underage drinking. The crash rate per mile traveled is about three times higher for newly licensed drivers compared to 18-19 year old drivers.

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