Two weeks ago, five students from McGavock High School and another driver were injured in a car accident that occurred when the students were on their way back from lunch. The teenagers were all driving in one car and the driver is 16-years-old and had just gotten her car not two days ago.
According to the report, the teenage driver tried to pass a slower car near Lincoya Drive. However, the driver swerved, overcorrected, slammed into a curb and rolled back into oncoming traffic. The teenager’s car hit an SUV head-on before flipping and sliding across the railroad tracks. One teenager was thrown from the car and all five of them sustained injuries, though not life threatening. Police say they are charging the driver with careless driving.
CAR ACCIDENTS ARE THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF TEENAGE DEATHS
Teenagers between ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely to die in a car accident than drivers who are over the age of 20. This is especially true for teenage drivers who are in their first year in the driver’s seat. Teenage drivers suffer from both inexperience and immaturity and can make them a hazard on the road. Their eyes are untrained and they are generally likely to underestimate dangerous situations. Tailgating and speeding are most common in teenage drivers, yet they are the least likely demographic to make use of their seat belts. A study conducted in 2009 showed 56 percent of teenagers involved in deadly car accidents were not wearing seatbelts. It seems the statistics are true, as all of this applies to last month’s accident and luckily, all involved survived.
Distracted driving is also a huge problem among teen drivers. Cell phone use, in particular, is a growing concern as it compensates for more than 12 percent of teenage crashes. However, cell phones are not the only form of distracted driving. Driving with friends can increase the risk of an accident exponentially. Studies show teens who drive with multiple passengers are thrill seeking while driving and are incapable of correctly examining the risks of driving.
IT IS UP TO PARENTS TO EDUCATE THEIR TEENAGERS
While driving school for teenagers is great for laying the fundamentals and helps accumulate practice, it is not enough to safely put teenagers on the road. They may pass their driving test, but by nature, are still incapable of comprehending how dangerous they can be on the road. It is up to parents to reinforce safe driving practices with their teenagers.
Parents should provide and supervise 30 to 50 hours of extra driving practice over six months on different types of roads, during different traffic times. Parents must make sure their teenage drivers are abiding the passenger restrictions their license program enforces. Parents must do everything they can to educate their teenagers on safe driving practices.
“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6