Category Archives: Teen drivers
You’re cruising down the road, driving in your car with a few of your friends. You feel a buzz on your leg and see you got a text message. There’s not much traffic on the road, and you’re not going too fast, so you decide to open the text and read it real quick. It’ll just take you a few seconds. No big deal.
Just a few seconds of taking your eyes of the road can cost someone their life, whether it’s you, your friends, another driver, or a pedestrian… or all of the above.
Did you know that texting and driving is now the leading cause of death among teenagers? More teens die from that than anything else, even drinking and driving. Over 3,000 teens die every single year from texting and driving… and about 11 teens die everyday because of it.
Here are some statistics:
- more than 50% of teens admit to texting while driving
- drivers are 23 times more likely to get in an accident if texting while driving
- in 2011, 23% of car crashes involved cell phones… that’s 1.3 million crashes
- 1 in 5 drivers even admit to surfing the web while driving (what)
- texting while driving causes 1,600,000 accidents per year
- it causes 330,000 injuries per year
Think about it this way: if you’re sending a text, or even just looking at one, it’ll take you a minimum of about 5 seconds. If you’re driving 55 mph, in 5 seconds you will drive the length of a football field. If a football field were full of cars and people walking, would you drive down it without looking? I sure hope not.
A lot of people think there are ways to make texting and driving more “safe.” For instance, holding your phone up towards your windshield so you can “kind of see” the road. Or only texting while stopped at a stop sign or red light. Sometimes people will increase their following distance behind the car in front of them, or they’ll just read texts but not write any.
Nope. Accidents and deaths are still caused when drivers do these things to be “safer.”
The bottom line is, just don’t do it. Make sure you text everyone back before you start driving, or just check your phone when you get to that destination. If you need to talk to someone because of an emergency, you can use a hands-free device and call them. But don’t put your and other peoples lives in dangers just to text your crush and say “whats up,” or whatever you feel is so urgent. Because even if you’ve made it this far without any problems, one day you might become one of the statistics and something horrible will happen because of your texting and driving. Just don’t risk it.
And another thing, if your friend is driving you somewhere and starts texting, don’t hesitate to speak up and ask them to not text and drive. Because really, YOUR life is in their hands. It’s not cool of them to do something that could put your life at risk. It isn’t rude to ask them to knock it off.
On average, drivers take their eyes off the road for 5 seconds when they are texting. If they are driving at 55 mph, that’s enough time to cover a football field’s length! A lot can happen in the short amount of time. Although you probably feel like you are being safe when using your cell phone in the car, the risk of an accident definitely increases. Studies have shown that a texting driver is 23 times more likely to get in a crash than a non-texting driver.
I am surprised at the amount of people who do not know that using a cell phone while driving is illegal in Oregon. There are recent laws that have banned texting, talking on the phone while driving without using a hands-free device. Yet, for those under 18, it’s illegal to talk even with using speakerphone or Bluetooth. The current fine for being distracted while driving is around $250 dollars! There is also a bill facing the senate and if it passes, the fines will increase to over a thousand dollars! I guess it goes to show how serious of a problem our government thinks this is. It is probably because 21% of all traffic accidents are a result of being distracted by a cell phone while driving. These aren’t some ‘dumb rules’ that limit your freedom, they are laws to keep you and others around you safe.
How can you be sure to keep yourself and other focused while in the car? If you’re driving and know that you are prone to read or respond to a text message, just turn off your phone whenever you get in the car. This way, you won’t even be tempted to pick it up! If you are in a car with a driver who is distracted by their cell phone, don’t be afraid to confront them. Warn them of the dangers of using a phone on the road! If they refuse to put down their cell phone, it is disrespecting their life and the lives of the passengers. You shouldn’t drive with someone who doesn’t value your life. It is important to realize the power that you hold when driving a car. It can be something great, but it can also be a weapon if used poorly. So be responsible and be safe! Don’t text and drive!
Graduation is a time of celebration! You have now finished four years of hard classes and moving on to bigger and better things. It is a great excuse to throw a party! Now, there are many ways one can enjoy themselves on their grad night. If your school is offering a grad night party, I highly recommend going. They put a lot of time and effort into those to make them fun and exciting! You can win multiple prizes and the games and events are really entertaining. Encourage your friends to come along with you and spend one last night with the seniors you spent four years of your life with! It is a great and safe way to end your high school career and it is well worth the money.
If you somehow manage to find yourself at a party with alcohol and drugs, just be wise. I know it is cliché, but do not do anything that you will regret. Be sure not to put yourself in danger by getting in a car with an intoxicated person driving. If you see someone trying to drive drunk, be a true friend and confront them or take their keys. Do not let them in that driver’s seat! Also, be responsible yourself by not driving while drunk. Remember that you do have people’s lives in your hands. A night can be drastically different if you choose to take control of your own decisions and help friends be smart also.
While there are safety precautions that need to be addressed, don’t forget that this is a night to have a good time! Enjoy being with friends and make some great memories. This is the last night of this season of your life, so go do something fun! Congratulations to all the seniors who have worked so hard to get to this point!
It seems that many teens these days are waiting to get their driver’s license until well after 16. The general cause of this may be due to the age limit of a required drivers ed course, which has many benefits to it. In all honestly it doesn’t matter when you decide to get your license, but what does matter is that you are a safe driver.
Here are some general tips to safe driving. If you want more information or a more detailed explanation, use this link!
Take a drivers ed course. I know that the general idea of taking this type of class outside of school can seem boring or you may think you all there is to know about driving on the road, but consider the benefits. For one, this will prepare you entirely for driving anywhere. Did you know that “For each mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are about four times more likely than other drivers to crash!” To get more statistics, the risks, and the costs of unsafe teen driving, click on this link. Not only this, but by taking this class (which is easy to do over summer!) you are eligible for a lower insurance rate. This is most helpful to anyone who is making car insurance payments.
Don’t text and drive. It is so common these days for kids to be on their cell phones, which doesn’t stop even when they are driving. Be sure to not use your cell phone, unless you have a hands free device, because it does cause more accidents.
Eliminate distractions! Use of your cell phone can also be put under this tip, but also keep in mind that friends, music, and even the buttons in the car used for general functions can all be a distraction. The risk of being in a car accident increases when you have distractions. Thus, it is important to decrease them as much as possible, especially when driving conditions (i.e., rain, snow, higher than normal wind speeds, heavy traffic, etc.) are not ideal.
Don’t drive while you are tired or inhibited by substance such as alcohol, prescription drugs, or other illegal drugs. Many driving disasters happen when anyone, not just teens, drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Decrease your chances of getting a ticket, going to jail, or killing someone or yourself by choosing not to use these types of substances.
Of course, it is also helpful to drive as often as possible with a parent or guardian who has had plenty of driving experience and can help with decreasing distractions as well as give pointers. If you would like information on more tips or information on driving classes click on this link. And one last thing…buckle up!
There seems to be a lot of drugs out there that are bad for you these days. Some are really intense, such as heroin, or seem safe, like your parent’s prescribed drugs, but really aren’t. With all these different drugs floating around, tobacco drugs, specifically chew and cigarettes, don’t seem all that bad. But think again, because there aren’t just long-term health effects. There are many cons to smoking that outweigh the pros, which you can chose for yourself when deciding if you should quit smoking or not.
One good reason why you should not be smoking, especially while underage, is that in the state of Oregon you will get an MIP (minor in possession) of tobacco. Under this law, anyone who is caught by the police can get a big fine and, in addition, will have to take a tobacco education class or perform a certain amount of community service related to the bad effects of tobacco use. You may say that this is no big deal…what is another class? But wait, there is more…your driving privileges could be suspended for up to a year!
Not only do you get an MIP on your record, have to take a class to help you quit, may have your driving privileges taken away, but also your school may suspend you for receiving this! That means that colleges may get to see your suspension record and you will have to make up missed classes and possibly get poor grades because of it.
When chosing to smoke, think again about the other immediate consequences. Need help quitting? Get some tips here!