Most accidents involving teen drivers are due to inexperience and lack of time behind the wheel. However, many teens (and adults) do not realize the deadly consequences of driving while distracted, drunk or drugged.
We live in a world where people – especially teens – expect instant, real-time information and communication 24 hours-a-day and those desires do not stop just because people get behind the wheel. Drivers simply do not realize the dangers that are posed when they take their eyes and minds off the road and their hands off the wheel and focus on activities other than driving.
Teens are especially at risk with distracted driving. Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. Their lack of driving experience can contribute to critical misjudgments if they become distracted. Not surprisingly, they text more than any other age group and the numbers of young drivers who text is only increasing.
In response to this crisis, the Partners for Safe Teen Driving program is releasing a music video, “It Can Wait,” by American Idol-finalist Travis Tucker, who is a math teacher at Forest Park High School in Prince William County, Virginia. Virginia law prohibits teens from using their cell phones to talk or text while driving. However, teens haven’t yet gotten the message that “It Can Wait.” For the release of the video, teens will be encouraged to use Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and other social media to pass this message along to their friends.
Drunk and Drugged Driving
Drinking and driving, often combined with other drugs, is a leading cause of needless accidents. Underage drinking and illegal drug use is a persistent public health problem. Teens are at far greater risk of death in an alcohol-related crash than the overall population, despite the fact they cannot legally purchase or publicly possess alcohol.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA)
Virginia Association for Driver Education and Traffic Safety (VADETS)