Teenagers have an exciting time when they can learn how to drive and get the keys to the car; they can go places without relying on mom or dad to get them there. But, because of their inexperience behind the wheel and lack of maturity, driving can be very dangerous. Teens must remember that driving is a privilege, not a right.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens 15 to 18 years old in the United States. Crash risk is highest during the first year that drivers have their license. The vehicle is a weapon on the roadway. Having teen passengers in the car shows that teen drivers are 2.5 times more likely to engage in one or more risky behaviors while driving.
Teens are not invincible as they think they are; it will happen to someone else! In 2018, 719 deaths out of 2,121 people killed in crashes involved a teen driver. That same year, an estimated 88,000 teen divers were injured in motor vehicle crashes and an estimated 256,000 people injured in crashes involved a teen driver.
Teen drivers need to learn the following rules of the road to be a safe driver and avoiding crashes:
- Don’t drive impaired.
- Buckle up—every trip, every time, both front and back seats.
- Keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel—all the time.
- Follow the posted speed limit.
The Lee County Injury Prevention Coalition serves as a collaborative effort or partnership whose function is to facilitate partners’ work and act as a catalyst for injury prevention initiatives. Its mission is to prevent injury, disability, and death through advocacy, education, legislation, and partnerships.