Educating Teens About the Dangers of Driving Distractions
Driving while distracted comes with a high price. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2008 alone almost 6,000 deaths and over 500,000 injuries were caused nationwide due to distracted drivers. A large percentage of these accidents involved teenage drivers. Research shows that teen drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a distraction-related collision than any other age group. In addition, a AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study found that drivers under the age of 20 are the most vulnerable to driving distractions. This, unfortunately, causes teenagers to face a high price for driving as the result of more accidents and more expensive insurance rates.
Driving a vehicle is both a right and a responsibility. While vehicles provide a convenience for getting quickly from one place to another, they can also be a potential deadly weapon if operated while distracted from anything else than keeping a total focus on the road. Things like playing very loud music, changing a radio station or CD, eating, tussling with friends, applying makeup, combing hair, watching a video and using a cell phone or texting while driving can result in a driver’s focus being distracted long enough to result in traffic mishaps. It takes only one small distraction to cause a potentially fatal accident. Being a responsible driver means limiting distractions that decrease the ability to hear, see and anticipate what is happening with surrounding traffic while operating a vehicle.
Aside from avoiding potentially fatal accidents, the positive side of not driving while distracted is that there are many benefits that can last a lifetime. Teenagers who prove themselves to be safe and responsible with good driving records are rewarded with much lower insurance rates. In some cases, these insurance rates can be lowered even further when a good driving record is combined with good grades. In the long run, the benefits of a good driving records become even more rewarding. Responsible adults with a long histories of safe driving are usually rewarded with spectacular insurance rates that result in saving thousands of dollars on long-term insurance costs.