Right On Time


Many students drive to school each day. Since this is high school, there will be times when students wake up late and most likely will be late. This can drastically affect how they would drive to school. The risk of an accident increases if that student proceeds to exceed the speed limit, even though the crash risk for teens increases incrementally with each mile per hour over the speed limit. Kristian Lacot (12th) says, “It’s great to be able to drive to school because I can get a little extra sleep than having to rush to get to the bus. I also know to do my best not to be late because I can’t have my parking pass taken away.” In 2014, 2,270 teens in the United States ages 16-19 were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor vehicle crashes. That means six teens ages 16-19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries. Amita McDonald (12th) loves being able to drive to school and says,  “I get to sleep in a little more and overall am less stressed about getting to school. If I’m late it’s 100% my fault and when I think I’m going to be late I get irritated while driving thinking everyone is doing something wrong.” There are also students who provide a ride for others in the morning. It is important to drive safely in general, and having additional passengers increases the risk of the driver death rate among 16 and 17-year-old drivers. This is even worse when they are behind schedule and need to rush to get to school on time. The passengers of the car may not be comfortable with the driver’s behavior on the road, yet only 44% of teens said they would definitely speak up if someone were driving in a way that scared them.

To help in preventing fatal accidents, there are things that parents and teens must consider. Of the teens (aged 16-19) who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2014, approximately 53% were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash. Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. Teen drivers with involved parents are twice as likely to wear seat belts. A young driver should also be made aware of the danger zones involved in teen crashes. This includes: driver inexperience, driving with teen passengers, nighttime driving, not using seat belts, distracted driving, drowsy driving, reckless driving, and impaired driving. Always make sure to wake up on time and leave enough time to get to school on time, do not put yourself or others at risk and drive safely.