Teen drivers urged to take extra care | News, Sports, Jobs
With the school year 2021 in retrospect and freedom within reach, that’s what experts call it “100 Deadliest Days” for young drivers is now in session.
From Memorial Day to Labor Day, an average of seven people per day are killed in teenage car accidents, according to the AAA. Nationwide; more than 30% of deaths involving teenage drivers occur within 100 days.
With COVID-19 vaccines approved for teenagers and pandemic restrictions disappearing, teenagers will be right to want to reunite.
“After the CDC lifted many pandemic restrictions, young adults are eager to reconnect with friends, which means young inexperienced drivers will be spending more time on the roads.” AAA spokesman Mark Jenkins said in a press release. “This increases the likelihood that they will be involved in an accident and for every kilometer driven, the likelihood of new teenage drivers (aged 16-17) being involved in a fatal accident is three times higher than that of adults.”
According to the AAA, traffic accidents are the No. 1 killer of U.S. teenagers aged 16-19. Experts say six teenagers are killed every day “In accidents that can be completely avoided.”
In Florida, an average of 36 teenage drivers are involved in fatal accidents within 100 days. According to the AAA, an average of 158 people are killed in teenage car accidents each year; 40 of those who during the “100 deadliest days.” Over the past 10 summers, 400 people lost their lives in teenage car accidents.
“Young people lack the experience, skills and maturity of an experienced driver, which contributes to the fact that the probability of a fatal outcome increases not only for the young driver, but also for every passenger and for others on the road. ” Jenkins continued. “That’s why we all have a personal interest in making sure youngsters are safe behind the wheel.”
At Cape Coral High School, members of the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) program do their best to pass the dangers or driving disabilities on to their classmates, especially during the prom and graduation seasons.
“Unfortunately, the students don’t have this fear, they consider themselves invincible.” said SADD sponsor of Cape Coral High School, Dianna Quay. “I hope our children (graduating on Saturday) make wise choices.”
Quay said Cape seniors had a chat about making the right decisions ahead of graduation night that Saturday and hope the message sticks.
“If we help a child think before they get into a car to drive, or even get into a car with someone under the influence of drugs, it’s worth it.” She said.
There are also concerns that the summer months are approaching and teenagers may want to be out and about more often.
“I think everyone was so pent up that it will be a release and I’m not sure everyone will make the smartest decisions.” Kai said. “Uber is available, there is no excuse for no alternative but to get in the car or get behind the wheel when alcohol or drugs have been involved.”
AAA officials said understanding the risks and knowing the facts will help prepare both parents and teens for what can happen on the street.
Safety tips for teenage drivers from AAA include:
• Driving with passengers: The accident risks of young drivers multiply when they have young passengers. Set limits and enforce them.
• Driving at night: Night driving is more dangerous due to limited visibility, fatigue and impaired drivers on the road. This is a risky time, especially for young people. Limit the amount of time your novice driver spends behind the wheel at night.
• Do not wear a seat belt: Wearing a seat belt greatly reduces the risk of injury or death in an accident. Make a rule: everyone buckles up for every trip.
• Over speeding: Speed is a major factor in accidents for adolescents and adults. Teens must adhere to the speed limit and parents should lead by example and apply strict rules.
• Distracted driving: Teenage passengers are the biggest distraction for teenage drivers, but cell phones come second. Many teenagers admit to interacting with their phone and infotainment systems in the car while they are behind the wheel, despite the obvious dangers. Make a family rule that covers these and other distractions that everyone adheres to.
• Sleepy driving: Teenagers have difficulty getting enough sleep and often struggle with drowsiness. Sleepy driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk, and teenagers are at the highest risk. Make sure everyone behind the wheel has had enough sleep.
• Restricted driving: Driving impaired by alcohol and other drugs puts everyone at risk. Implement strict zero-tolerance rules with your teen and be a good role model.
Parents talk to their ready-to-drive teenagers about the “Behaviour rules” can play an important role in how your child behaves at the wheel. AAA experts said teach by example and minimize “Risky behavior” while driving can lay the foundation for a safe driver.
AAA also recommends enrolling teenagers for driving courses. AAAs “How to drive online” is a 25-hour supplementary course that teaches the rules and essential elements of safe driving in an interactive and innovative way. This online program is designed to ensure that safe driving habits are developed and maintained for a lifetime. For more information on driving safety, driving classes and more, visit http://autoclubsouth.aaa.com> autoclubsouth.aaa.com and look for Safety in the toolbar.
–Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj