If you've read my recent blog or have been tuned in to national news, numerous teenagers have died in recent weeks in horrific car accidents. In Texas, teens held a candlelight vigil to pay tribute to the memories of the five teens that lost their lives in a two-vehicle accident. The five teenagers had been pronounced dead at the scene when a teen driver, age 16, disregarded a stop sign and crashed into a fuel tanker. The driver of the truck suffered burns over 65% of his body. PHOTO COURTESY OF KFDA NewsChannel 10 Amarillo.
Students in the area also participated in a distracted driving poster contest to help bring awareness to the dangers of texting and driving. High School students in Orange County would benefit too in participating in similar contests for their teens to raise awareness of distracted driving, if they have not already done so.
All around the United Sates, newspapers and the media are discussing the recent teen automobile accidents - the teen deaths are a reminder for parents and teens of the importance of teaching driver safety. Parents, adults and teens everywhere are speculating the cause of these problems of multiple teen deaths in horrific accidents and what can be done.
Most people agree that distracted teen drivers are a concern, and especially distractions such as using electrical devices like smartphones, talking while driving and even listening to the radio. Some say it is critical that teen drivers don't have teenage passengers in the first few months they have their license because they are distracting. Picture a 16-year old, fresh from the DMV with a shiny new license piling in the car as many friends as possible, the new driver's excitement level is elevated, the music is booming, and loud, animated conversations are flying around the car. How could the young driver focus on the road, scan for hazards, and concentrate on driving skills in such a distracting environment? It would be better to keep the interior of the car calm and low key until the teen is more experienced and focused.
According to reports, "About two-thirds of teen passenger deaths occur when another teen is driving, and teens are almost 10 times more likely to be in an accident during their first year on the road." It is a common sentiment among grown-ups that teens think they are invincible. They don't believe that anything bad will happen to them.
Others say the problem is enhanced by the fact that teenage drivers are novice drivers. When an adult gets on the road, they are used to scanning the roads and looking for hazards. A teen is not necessarily anticipating hazards or safety dangers. Adult drivers are also wondering how the counties they live in can make certain intersections that are prone to car accidents safer.
Another valid point, is that parents are the example. Teens learn to drive long before they turn 15 or 16, by watching their parents from the back seat. Parents are role-models for their teens. Does mom put her seat belt on? Does dad turn his phone off or put it in the glove-box. Do the adults in their lives drink beer or wine then get behind the wheel? Parents are encouraged too to explain all the good things that will come with safe driving, rather than fall back on only scare tactics of how the teen can get hurt. Many adults feel that parents need to take a more pro-active role in their teen's lives.
Continue reading "Parents and Teens in the U.S. React to the Numerous Recent Teen Auto Accident Deaths" »