According to trauma experts at Stony Brook Hospital in New York, car accidents are the number one cause of deaths of children and teens. The AAA organization reports that summer is the most dangerous time for teens who operate motor vehicles. To decrease the chances for teen injuries or deaths from a serious or fatal accident, a trauma program manager at the hospital recommends a strong program of adult involvement.
In addition to drunk driving, teens place themselves in jeopardy most often by distracted driving. The range of these diversions – cell phones, texting, stereo, GPS and other passengers – is well-known but are not being adequately addressed by adults and teens alike. Perhaps surprisingly, the most acute problem is that of other passengers. The accident rate goes up for each additional passenger. That presents a starting point for adult involvement: set strict rules against group excursions and make teens understand the practical purpose of the rule.
The trauma manager concludes that the judgment part of a person’s brain may not be fully developed prior to age 25. Teens combine that deficiency with their lack of hard experience in the skills of driving motor vehicles. These factors make it critical for adults to be involved more in directing their driving practices.
Teens should be strictly controlled in their access of an auto. Those who must request permission to use a vehicle are less likely to crash or get involved in a fatal accident case. Furthermore, they have better driving records, according to the trauma manager. Additionally, note that the rule, “Don’t do as I do, do as I say,” does not apply here.
In New York and everywhere else, the problems are exacerbated when adults are poor role models. Thus, no phones, texting or distractive habits by adults means fewer of them by the teens. It also means lessened exposure to a fatal accident. Finally, remember that democracy and teen rights do not apply to teen driving. This approach should be mutually discussed, understood, and agreed to by adults and their teens.
Source: Claims Journal, “Car Crashes Number 1 Cause of Teen Deaths in New York“, , July 16, 2014