July 4th Is A Dangerous Time For Teens To Be Behind The Wheel
July 4th is Independence Day which is a holiday where many teen drivers are out of school and attend barbecues and parties. This time of year can be one where many teens are behind the wheel. A study by AAA has found that the percentage of teens who drive during the summer months increased by more than 40 percent.
Most parents are not around their kids during the week during summer vacation so this leads to teens not having adequate supervision when they are driving. Parents often allow their kids to drive to keep them pre-occupied during the summer. This can lead to tragedy. The latest statistics have found that more than 30 percent of the teen driver related deaths happen in Maryland during the summertime.
Teen drivers are at a distinct disadvantage because they do not see the harsh realities of acting carefree when they are behind the wheel. Teens do not fully understand the value of life until something tragic happens. In 2010, more than 3100 teen fatalities were reported in Washington due to car accidents.
One great help is the graduated driver’s license programs that a majority of states have enacted. This is a program in which teen drivers have to wait until the age of 21 to get a normal driver’s license. For a period of five years, teens have restrictions on their driving privileges.
For example, teen drivers are restricted from driving after dark and before dusk. If all of the 50 states decided to have similar restrictions on teens then approximately 9,500 car accidents should be prevented each year. It would also prevent approximately 500 fatalities per year.
The states need to step up to the plate on this issue because it is an important one. A new study has found that ten percent of the fatalities that occur on July 4th are teen drivers. This shows that more could be done to avert tragedy.
Parents need to especially make sure that their teens are chaperoned at parties. Many teens consume alcohol illegally during the summer months, especially during the fourth of July. It is important for teens to feel like they can be open and honest with their parents and tell them if they have become intoxicated.
Many teens fear that they will get in trouble so they remain silent and try to drive themselves home. The holiday will only be safer if parents are able to become more involved and enforce safer driving rules for teens.