As the teen driver safety programs begin to be displayed at each high school in our district, many students groan at the idea of having to sit through such a presentation. Despite this, many statistics show that teens could use all the driving advice they can get. With teens being so dismissive to helpful information, it raises the question – should teens even be driving?
Although it is a controversial topic, no one can deny that getting a permit or license is one of the most exciting moments in a person’s life. Teens are known to be easily distracted and persuaded by peers. So, is it best to keep them off the road? The Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin assessed that 16-year olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any age. No studies explain; however, whether raising the driving age would affect this or not. Are younger drivers crashing more because they are young or because they are new drivers?
Another topic of speculation is how having additional passengers could affect a young driver. Several studies support that each passenger raises the risk by a small amount. Other factors like calling, texting, speeding, and etc. raise the chance of an accident. Our state, New Jersey, has many laws implemented to keep teen drivers safe. In fact, New Jersey is known to be one of the strictest states when it comes to teen driving. But even with all of the strict laws, a teen still crashes every ten minutes in New Jersey. With statistics showing that more crashes happen between specific hours while texting or with other passengers, state driving laws specifically target those weak points in attempt to eliminate them.
Nevertheless, crashes still take place – and very often. Based on research and observation, it comes clear that the source of the problem concerning teen drivers in New Jersey is not a consequence of the state’s “weak” laws, as the regulations are very strong and sensible. Instead, the culprit behind so many teen driver collisions is the teenagers themselves. Teens tend to not follow all of the rules in an attempt to make driving more “fun.”
This “fun” can be fatal.
So, driving programs like the one offered here at Freehold Boro (which any student planning to drive to school in senior year must attend), are worth your time. With the high risk of teens getting into a car accident, these mandatory programs are a spark of hope that may help teens realize that driving safely is the best and only way to drive.