Image by robert.molinarius via Flickr
A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2009 has shown that vehicular crashes are the most common cause of death among US teenagers. The number of car accident-related deaths and injuries are alarming:
- In 2009, 3,000 teen drivers (age 15-19) died from motor vehicle crashes.
- 35,000 received emergency care for injuries suffered from car crashes.
- About 8 teens aged 16-19 die every day from car accidents.
While lack of experience puts a teen driver at risk for vehicular accident, studies show that poor driving habits of teens are the main cause of car accidents. High accident rate among teen drivers is often attributed to reckless driving, over speeding, distracted driving, or use of alcohol and drugs.
Getting a driver’s license is a teen’s first step towards independence. This freedom should be coupled with awareness of and practice of safe driving habits if they want to live beyond their teen years. Here are some tips to ensure safety on the road:
- Drive slow – Teens find thrill in speed driving or drag racing. The outcome is often deadly.
- Always buckle up to minimize injury in case of a collision with another car or object.
- Never drive when you’re physically or mentally impaired such as when intoxicated or under the influence of drugs.
- Don’t multi-task. Texting, applying makeup, or changing the song in your MP3 player can get your focus off the road. Many of road accidents happen after drivers get distracted for even as short as 3 seconds.
- Restrict the number of your passengers. Studies by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) have shown that teen drivers tend to become more reckless when they have more passengers with them.
Remember that with the right to drive comes the responsibility of driving with care.