30 November, 2011
Death on Wheels
Automobile accidents continue to be the leading cause of injury and death among teenagers across the nation. In 2008, 5,864 teen drivers aged 15-20 were killed, and another 228,000 were injured ("EdgarSnyder.com"). So it has become that the most dangerous threat to the livelihood of our youth lies not in the hands of serial killers, disease, or drugs. Rather, it is without question that teenagers are in greatest danger when they have their own hands on the steering wheels of an automobile that they are operating. However, taking the necessary steps in the direction of safety, education, and awareness, can successfully bring change to the nightmare that teen driving has become. By increasing the severity and enforcement of driving laws, better informing young drivers, and changing the way teens think about driving and how it affects their safety, we can save thousands of young drivers and passengers from harmful and fatal accidents.
Drivers aged 16-19 have the highest annual average of crash and driving violation rates (Teen Driver Crash Statistics). These numbers are often due to some form of distracted or unsafe driving. Factors including but not limited to distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, inexperience, risk taking, and poor decision making are responsible for a large majority of accidents. Teenagers are more prone to recreational driving, which often includes an intoxicated driver. Despite the efforts to kick drunk driving, teenagers are continuing to choose to operate automobiles while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Not much better, in a 2007 study it was found that over 46% of teens admitted to text messaging while driving (Schwartzberg). While texting and driving is no longer deemed socially acceptable, drivers who do so do not receive the same criticism, opposition, or punishment given to those who drink and drive because society has not...