Driving Deaths? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Every year, thousands of teens die as a result of car-related accidents. Most of these deaths are caused by speeding. Too many teens think it's more fun and more of a thrill to drive fast, but all it takes is one jerk of the wheel, one bump in the road, one slippery spot, and an accident can occur. One may be in control of the car one minute, and the next, be colliding with a tree. A lot of people like to take back roads because they can go faster, and there's less of a chance of being stopped. But when drivers don't know all the curves, they may not slow down fast enough. They may not think it can happen to them, but it can happen to any of us. Don't think it can't, because the next time you get behind the wheel could be your last. Speeding is 100% preventable, so don't throw your life away just to have a little fun.

Another big factor in teen driving accidents is caused by not paying attention to the road. Taking your eyes off the road for just a second can lead to disaster. These types of accidents usually occur while tuning the radio, changing a tape or CD, or talking to someone in the back seat. We are probably all guilty of these distractions at one point or another, but we need to be careful. A driver coming the other way may not be paying attention either, and we need to be focused to avoid collision, especially when the weather isn't good.

Staying focused includes staying awake, too. Many teens coming home late are tired and find it difficult to stay alert. Either going home earlier or getting a less tired driver would be better.

It's sad to say, but another cause of teen deaths is drunk driving. Driving drunk is illegal for everyone, but many teens drink at parties even though they are under age. Then they get behind the wheel of a car and drive home to make their curfew. Not all teens drink and drive, but there are too many that do. If having a drink is really necessary, then find a designated driver. You're not only endangering your life, but the lives of others.

This may sound strange, but an important factor in teen driving deaths is lack of skill. In order to become an accomplished driver, it takes about five years of experience. Even if you're a good driver and have a clean driving record, you lack experience. Drivers with at least five years experience have probably seen bad conditions, know how to handle the car, and might know how to avoid an accident.

It doesn't take much for an accident to occur, so you take precautions when you're a new or young driver, and pay close attention to what's happening around you.

Every day, teens die or are mangled for life in car accidents. All accidents are not preventable, but not speeding, not driving drunk and not paying attention are. Don't throw your life away over avoidable risks. Life is too valuable. ,


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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