The Choice to Become Another Statistic: Teen Drivers

By Kylie Rotanelli ’13

EE Staff Writer

A driver’s license and the car keys – every teenager’s dream, and most parents worst nightmare. As more and more THS students receive their license, one question lingers through the minds of Trumbull residents: “Should I be worried?”

Statistics from 2009 showed that three thousand teens from the ages 15 through 19 were killed and more than three  350,000 received emergency room treatment because of car accidents. Parents often claim to reprimand their children to “not drink and drive” and “every text can wait” but as statistics of teen accidents sky rocket, many are questioning if that method of enforcement is truly enough in putting the end to teens reckless driving.

As teen drinking and driving statistics increase, society is forced to recognize teens’ responsibility for a large portion of accidents. The worst part of this issue is the innocent civilians being victims of teen’s driving habits. This past summer in Darien, CT, nine teenagers were riding in a suburban with open beer cans as it drove through a stop sign and went head on with a mini cooper.

When asked if they had ever driven under the influence, an anonymous senior replied, “I’ve driven after I had been drinking at a party because at the time you think you’re fine.” The teens cannot cope with the thought of calling their parents and confessing their wrongdoing, so instead they get behind the wheel and put others lives in danger. Out of fifteen THS seniors anonymously surveyed, five responded “yes” to the question “Have you ever driven under the influence?” These results shocked senior, Jenna Vietze, who responded, “Any number above zero is one too many.”

Unfortunately, the rise of drinking is not all we have to be concerned about. “K”… a one word reply that drivers deem more important than their lives. That is what teens are saying when they make the choice to text and drive. Eight out of the fifteen students surveyed replied, “yes” when asked if they had ever sent a text message while driving.

“I get mad whenever I’m in the car with a friend who is texting and driving because they’re putting my life in danger along with their own. That’s why I usually offer to text for them,” said senior Melissa Giblin.

Teens are said to be the most vulnerable drivers, yet the most confident. Putting a stop to the newly licensed drivers stupidity will take time but as of right now the best thing to do is spread awareness. The choice to become “just another statistic” is in your hands.

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