Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunday Sermon

2 - 15 year old children died in a one car traffic accident on Friday night, another survived with only a few scratches, bumps, and bruises, but is having to be constantly sedated because he's having such a hard time accepting that his friends are gone. The accident happened on a rural highway near where I live. The accident is tragic, it's senseless, and it's so very sad.

Facts:

In the United States, traffic crashes account for 40 percent of all deaths among 15-20 year olds.

Almost 20 percent of the deaths on Arkansas roads occurred in crashes involving teen drivers.

In Arkansas, AAA found that almost 57 percent of those killed in accidents involving teen drivers were either passengers, occupants of other vehicles, or non-motorists such as pedestrians.

Young drivers typically carry more passengers in their cars than older drivers, and these passengers are usually around the same age as the driver. Often this results in a deadly combination of inattention, inexperience, and immaturity. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that the risk of death increased significantly with each additional teen passenger transported by a teen driver. In single vehicle crashes involving teen drivers, two-thirds of fatally injured passengers were also teens (between ages 15 and 19).

A frequent contributing factor to crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving teens is the decision by the young novice driver and his or her peers not to use seat belts.

More and more traffic accidents involving teens can be directly related to their use of cell phones while driving.

Our current driver education system does not teach young people to drive; it teaches them to pass a test. Learning to drive is a long-term process, one that cannot be effectively managed through the traditional driver education program. Once the basic skills are learned, extensive additional “on the job” training without distractions, and with the assistance of a more mature and experienced driver is needed. As their skills and maturity develop, young novice drivers can then proceed to full licensure.

When are we going to wake up and stop handing the keys, to a possible death sentence, to our kids?

11 comments:

Donna said...

Oh Sweetie...What Terrible news. Bless their hearts. You are So right...much love to you sweetie...hughugs

Dawn said...

Oh my, awful news. Bless them. I agree with you!! *HUGS*

Cindra said...

Even more than when we learned to drive, there are more distractions to combat. We didn't have cell phones, dvd players, mapping gadgets, etc. You are right. We have lost many more teen drivers than years past... and I would be willing to bet with some there are cell phones involved. Parents need to take a more active role and quit giving their children free reign with the cars to make their own lives convenient.
It's always hard to handle this type of news because you know it could so easily have been prevented. My heart goes out to those families....and others who have suffered the same fate.

mreddie said...

Amen sister, preach it! ec

Sally said...

So very sad. I agree - so many distractions in addition to what you posted, not enough education before they get behind the wheel.

My heart goes out to the families.

jazzi said...

My kids were required to have 20-25 hours of driving time with us before they could test. They told us that many parents would just sign because they didn't want to put in the time, and urged us to do so as well.
We refused. I wonder how many of those parents have had to make a trip to the emergency room because of an auto accident with their kids?
I'm all for moving the driving age to 18!

Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

Oh boy, every parent's nightmare. I have a 17 year old that drives and a 16 year old who would just as soon have all of us chauffeur him around. Every single time I know my kids are out on the roads, my heart tightens up. It's terrifying. My 17 year old is a very good driver and is a stickler for obeying rules...but you never know. He could get with a bunch of his friends and start being goofy behind the wheel. He IS a teenager, after all. The requirements in our area for teenagers to get their license are much more involved than they were in Florida and Mississippi, where my older two got their licenses. The kids have to attend driving classroom instruction for 3 weeks (offered during the summer and evenings - not as part of the regular school curriculum) plus 14 hours of driving with an actual instructor - who has the kids drive in the city, in rural areas and on the highways. So while that IS better than what I've seen in other places, it's still not enough to make me relax. We've been talking about sending our boys to a defensive driving class. Somewhere that will teach them what to do when there's other idiots out there driving the roads with them. And maybe it'll teach them NOT to BE the idiots out there. :)

Kari

P.S. Regarding my giveaway - I don't mind that you are a new reader entering. I'm thrilled that anyone reads my blatherings - new OR old (ha!) - so if that's whats holding you back from entering, please don't let it. If, however, you're just not interested in the items I'm giving away, well now that's a whole different story! (And one I would totally understand, too. There's been some giveaways out here that just aren't my cup of tea, so to speak). So let me know if that's the reason and I'll leave your name off the list of entries (I don't want to be responsible for cluttering up another person's home with unwanted junk. lolol)

Kellan said...

I just made a call this morning to our insurance company about my twins - checking on the cost of insurance for when they are given their lisence. I'm so scared to let them get their lisence and am holding off as long as possible.

Have a good day - Kellan

Mary Lou said...

It won't stop until the PARENTS are held accountable also. Start looking at the age of the really rude road rage drivers on the highways today. Most of them are in their 30's and 40's. You reap what you sow. AS soon as manners are taught and enforced at home, then we will SLOWLY see the changes in our youth. They all think it is a big joke when they run a light or pass a car with little room. pity.

I am all for raising the driving age.

bichonpawz said...

This is awful news Brenda. Right before I read your blog, I just found out about two kids in my town that were killed in a senseless accident last night. My daughter has lost so many friends this way and it is just terrible. I totally agree with you. And I wish there was a way to educate them about all of these distractions. It is very worrisome.

Crystal said...

Damn...I agree as well. I remember when I was a teen driver and sometimes I wonder how I made it thru those years. Hugs sweet;o)