Distractions from phones, friends can be lethal
31,785 people in 2022 lost their lives in traffic accidents. Approximately 12,000 of those deaths were children ages 1-19. Young adults and seniors are at the highest risk of getting in minor to fatal car accidents and teens meaning ages 16-19 are at the highest of the bunch.
New drivers are inexperienced but that’s always been true. New distractions like music, cell phones, and passengers are some of the many major distractions that people deal with and young people especially deal with those distractions. Driving with these distractions can lead to carelessness on the road. Students at Minnehaha academy share their views with new drivers.
Sinae Hill is a first year and she says “I would say my confidence driving is a 7/10”.
Sophomore Quincy Starling said “I’m super confident” he said his reason for his confidence is simply “I know how to drive”.
Junior Mateo Cortes Weiss said “I’m the most confident and safe driver on the planet”.
The majority of high school students feel safe and are confident in their driving skills. This confidence can be good but can also hurt drivers safety. Drivers with too much confidence might feel like they can drive with certain distractions and still be safe. Data proves against this. Most drivers that get into minor to fatal car accidents are drivers that range in age between 16-19. Insurance companies also see the correlation. Insurance rates go up for families the moment a new driver enters the plan. This is because the chance of an accident is much higher.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, “They are prone to making simple driving errors, often while speeding. They are twice as likely to crash at night. Crashes while driving to and from school, especially after school, and with other teens in the car is common. Teen passengers increase distractions and promote risk-taking behaviors.”
Being a scared driver can be just as dangerous as being a new driver. Being scared or not being confident can lead to swerving or panicking. Panicking drivers can be unpredictable on the road. It’s important to find a middle ground where you’re confident, but too much confidence can lead to reckless driving.
The perfect safe driving conditions are when you’re fully awake, sober, and focused with no distractions. Keep your phone in your bag, turn your music down or even turn it off. Tell your family or friends to stop talking, remembering to miss a text or not listening to your favorite song is always better than an accident.