Safety has always been a top concern for teen drivers. One wrong move can easily turn fatal. Proper education and practice behind the wheel are essential to equip teens with the skills they need to be safe drivers. According the June 6, 2010 issue of the “Herald Journal” newspaper, summertime is the most deadly season for young drivers. Every year almost 11,000 15- to 24- year olds die in motor vehicle crashes. The risk of a fatality from a crash is doubled for every 10 miles per hour over 50 miles per hour. According to AAA Utah, the top 10 deadly mistakes teen driver’s make are:
• Cell phones – Talking on a cell phone can double reaction time.
• Peer Pressure – Make good choices and don’t be afraid to stand-up for yourself.
• Speed – Stick to the speed limit.
• Risk Taking – Think “safety first” and don’t do something you’ll regret for the rest of your life.
• CD Players – Turn off the music when learning to drive.
• Unbuckled – 2/3 of teens killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts.
• Late-night driving – Teen crash rates are twice as high at night than during the day.
• Rowdy riders – Don’t load up the car with friends. Additional teen passengers increase a 16 or 17 year driver’s risk of crashing.
• Overconfidence – Inexperience can lead to accidents when new drivers encounter unexpected situations.
• DUI – Stay Sober.
The top reasons for crashes and fatalities among teens on Utah highways are improper lookout, speeding, failing to yield right-of-way, following too close, and driving left of center. Education and practice of safe driving skills are necessary to keeping teens from being a statistic.
There has been an increasingly high volume of traffic accidents and crash fatalities in Cache County, Utah. During the month of June the Utah Highway Patrol (UHP) and Utah Safety Council are teaming up to provide free workshops and instructional material for drivers between 15 and 24 years of age. These classes are designed to teach teens and other young people the importance of safety and how to avoid becoming an accident statistic. The classes are designed to teach teens to recognize driving hazards, take responsibility for their own safety, and learn how serious accidents can be. Both the classes and the course books are free of charge. Certificates will be provided for those attending at least one class and some insurance companies may provide a small discount to young drivers who complete the course.
If interested, the classes offered are:
Wednesday, June 9, 2010 – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Mountain Crest High School Auditorium
Wednesday, June 23, 2010 – 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Cache County Sheriff’s Complex 3rd floor
Both classes provide refreshments and materials.
“Herald Journal”; Arriving Alive: Teen Drivers invited to ongoing safety course; Matthew K. Jensen; June 2010
“Utah Driver Handbook”; State of Utah; 2008 Version