By the editorial board of the daily newspaper
National Safe Adolescent Driving Week will not take place until October, but after recent events we want to talk about it now.
We haven’t even reached summer yet – watch for Sunday, June 20 – and have already too often had to report road fatalities in our area. And while the crashes did not involve teenage drivers, they are the ones we want to talk to because these events can show them that the dangers of the road are very real. It’s a reminder worth taking home as teenage drivers hit the road for fun on summer vacation or for work.
Fatal accidents are tragic for everyone involved.
They can have lifelong repercussions on the families who have suffered a disaster, as well as on those also involved in the accident. This is no less true for teenage drivers. We argue that this is probably even more true for them.
Parents play such an important role in improving the safety of teenage drivers. Parents, just talking to your teen about safe driving can make a difference.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and disability among adolescents in the United States. According to the most recent teenage driver safety statistics compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 2,500 teenagers (ages 12-19) died in traffic crashes in 2018 and approximately 297,000 non-fatal injuries occurred in adolescents as a result of traffic accidents in 2018.
There is no security in numbers. About two-thirds of teenage passenger deaths occur when another teenager is driving.
We’re sure we all remember peer pressure well, so help your young driver when he is pressured to load the car or drive when he knew he shouldn’t. “Mom says I can’t” is a lot easier to say than “I don’t want”, so give them that.
Let your teenager drive whenever you are in the car together and make sure he or she has the chance to drive in various weather conditions as well as at night.
Teenagers rely on their parents to spell out the rules of the road. Let’s make sure we don’t let them down because we want everyone to have a safe summer.