I recently read something so staggering I couldn’t sleep.
The number of teens lost each year to driving fatalities is nearly 6,000.
Sit with that for a second. It’s not just a number. It’s not just some statistic. It’s our teenagers’ lives lost. 6,000 of them. EVERY. YEAR.
That night, the same day my oldest son got his drivers’ license, I laid awake at two 0’clock in the morning staring at my ceiling fan and I thought to myself, “It’s like we are handing them a license and sending them off to war.”
I couldn’t shake that thought and after tossing and turning for 30 minutes, I grabbed my cell phone off my nightstand and Googled “number of soldiers we lose annually.”
Turns out it is more deadly than sending them off to war.
We lose 1,500 – 2,000 soldiers annually.
That should take your breath.
We lose more than three times the number of teens in car accidents than we do men and women in war.
This is an epidemic.
5 Stats You Should Know About Teenage Drivers
Nearly 6,000 teens die every year in a car accident making driving the leading cause of death in teens.
Nearly 60% of teenage driving deaths are due to the teen not wearing a seatbelt.
The first year, 16-17, is the most deadly.
A STAGGERING 75% of teens admit to texting while driving.
Speeding causes nearly 40% of all fatal crashes involving teens.
Teenage Driving Laws Need to Be Changed
The legal driving age should be 17.
No passengers should be allowed in the car under the age of 18, except siblings, until the driver is 18.
We need to increase the amount of time needed behind the wheel before teens are able to obtain a driver’s license. It’s pathetically low right now.
All cars with teen drivers should have decals as they do in New Jersey.
What Parents Can Do Now To Protect Their Teen Driver
Talk, talk, talk with your teens. Not just once. Over and over and over.
Check your cell phone bill and see if they are using their phones while they are driving.
Install programs like this one in the car your teen drives.
Read them the stats.
Read them articles from the newspaper about teen deaths.
Watch videos like this with your teens. (This one is of a mom’s reaction to learning of her daughters death.)
SCARE them. It is that serious. SCARE them. Often.
Watch the video below with them.
Do THIS: (as this video instructs you do to) Ask them to take out their wireless device. Have them read the last text message they received out loud.
Ask them:Would reading or responding to that text message from behind the wheel of a moving vehicle be worth the risk of getting into a car accident or worse?