Thursday, April 7, 2011

Take me for a ride in your Car-Car

Peter, Paul & Mary memorialized the Woody Guthrie song.  Take me for a ride in your Car-Car.  For teens it is a dangerous roll of the dice.  Last Sunday, shortly after 3 in the afternoon,  a young man died when his girl friend lost control of her new car and slammed into an oak tree.  According to CDC statistics, seven other teens died that day, too.  Please look at the photograph of the car.  Please show it to the teens in your life.  Remind them that they are four times more likely than older drivers to crash.  Car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens.  There are well known factors that contribute to the risk.  The incident in the photograph included several:
  • teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to speed. 
  • The presence of a male teenage passenger increases the likelihood that the driver will speed.
  • Half of teen crash fatalities occur between 3 PM and midnight.
  • 56% occur on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Please don't call this an accident.  Most death at the wheel is preventable.  It is possible to increase the safety of our behavior by understanding the risk factors in our lives, and taking action.  In even the deadliest occupations such as logging and fishing, fatalities have been dramatically reduced through the rigorous application of safety training. We can save the lives of the eight teens statistically scheduled to die tomorrow if we address the risk factors and manage access to the ignition keys.  If we can make the Bering Sea safer for crab fishermen, we can do the same for teens at the wheel.

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