The newest generation of teenagers is tech-savvy and able to easily multi-task through many situations. But when a teenager is behind the wheel texting, applying makeup and chatting with friends, they can be extremely dangerous to themselves and others on the road.
The CHP is taking steps to combat teenage driving deaths by asking teenagers to take a pledge they will never risk their lives by drinking and driving or using a cell phone while driving. According to news reports, teenagers comprise of 4% of the state’s licensed drivers, but are found at-fault in 66% of all fatal collisions.
The CHP’s goal is to teach teenagers responsibility. Other organizations have hopped on board to educate teens, including the National Auto Sports Association and Thunderhill Raceway Park, whose combined efforts teach a Teen Driving Clinic. The clinic helps teens learn road safety by showing how to react in certain dangerous situations, and how to avoid a car accident.
The California Highway Patrol reports over 37,000 teenagers have died since 2003 in a car accident, compared to the 4,700 soldiers killed in Iraq. “We don’t ever hear about that,” said CHP Officer John Waggoner. “That is because the news is focused on war. They are not focused on what is going on at home.”
“Motor vehicle traffic collisions are the leading cause of death for American teenagers, ages 15 to 20,” Waggoner said. “So we’re going to do whatever it takes to get that message across.” I hope the CHP’s efforts result in fewer car accidents amongst teenagers.