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Teenagers and Driving: A Dangerous Combination
Teenagers and vehicles can be a very dangerous combination. Teenage drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a motor vehicle crash than drivers of older age. According to the center of disease control in 2009 about 3,000 teenagers age 15-19 were killed in motor vehicle accidents and 350,000 was taken to the emergency department for motor vehicle related injuries in the United States. This is an alarming number and it will only get worse if something is not done about the age in which teens are allowed to drive. There are many reasons contributed to teen driver’s high accident and fatality rates in motor vehicles. Immaturity, lack of experience, peer pressure, and the fact that they are easily distracted are among the top factors.
Maturity and attitude are very important factors when it comes to safe driving and because the average teen driver is not very mature they cause accidents that can be avoided. Teenager’s age15-17 is easily influenced by their peers and is more likely to drive recklessly or above the speed limit to impress their friends. Because teenagers are less experience in driving they are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazards situations.
The number one cause of most motor vehicle accidents caused by teens is a result of some type of distraction. Nearly 9 of 10 teenage drivers have engaged in distracted-driving behaviors such as texting or talking on a cellular phone, eating, adjusting radios, driving with four or more passengers, and applying make-up. Cellular phones have become a very big part of the lives of teenagers and an even bigger distraction when they are driving. There has been a huge problem in the United States with driver’s talking on their cell phones and texting while driving, however, there is an even bigger problem with inexperience teen drivers doing it. When teenagers are using their cell phones and driving it distracts them from concentrating on the highway. As a result of their attention being diverted elsewhere they are causing head on collisions and running their vehicles off of the road. Although most teens know that their actions increase their risk of crashes they still do it thinking nothing is going to happen to them.
I am a prime example of why the driving age needs to be increased. I received my driver’s license at the age of 15 and I thought that was the best piece of plastic in the world, not realizing how much responsibility it really was. I enrolled in a driving course before I received by license however; it only taught me the things that I needed to know to pass the driving test. I didn’t take driving seriously and often speed while driving. I can remember countless times of playing with my friends and being distracted by things going in the car and not concentrating on the road. I was one of the lucky ones and nothing terrible happen while I was a young and immature driver.
A driver’s license is a very important piece of plastic that almost ever teen can’t wait to get, but it can be very dangerous if it is not handled with care. There are a number of driving courses that teen can enroll in to become safe drivers, however they don’t teach maturity and to can’t make them pay attention to the road. No matter what vehicle a teen drives or no matter what driving course they take when they are behind the wheel they are at a greater risk of being in motor vehicle accidents because they are easily distracted. Driving is a huge responsibility and takes lots of maturity and self discipline and should be a privilege given only to those that will be respectful and cautious while doing it.