The 70-year-old teen driver

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

All it takes is one second. One second of your teenager looking down to text message or picking up their cell phone to answer a call while driving. It could cost them their life. The second that a teenager picks up their cell phone while driving they have the same reaction time of a 70 year old driver. No phone call or text message is worth your teenagers life or someone else and that is why it is important that we educate teenage drivers on the dangers of using a cell phone while they are driving.

Teenagers seem to take on the attitude that it will never happen to them. Taylor Sauer was messaging on Facebook while taking a drive from Utah State University to visit her parents in Caldwell, Idaho. Sauer was facebooking a friend back and forth about the Denver Broncos game. Moments before Sauer crashed she updated her Facebook status to “I can’t discuss this now. Driving and Facebooking is not safe! Ha ha.” Sauer crashed her car into a tanker that was going 15 mph up a hill and lost her life immediately. Investigators found that Sauer posted 90 seconds before her crash and had been facebooking and texting the majority of her drive.

Aaron Deveau was only 17 years old when he picked up his cell phone to send a text message. Deveau plead not guilty but phone records showed that he sent a text message at 2:34 pm and received a text message back at 2:35 pm. Deveau crashed his car into Daniel Bowley’s truck at 2:35 pm. Bowley held on to his life for 18 days before he passed away leaving three sons behind.Deveau told the judge “I made a mistake. If I could take it back, I would. I just want to apologize to the family.” There is no apology that will ever give those three boys their father back. In both cases it took one second to pick up the phone to send or receive a message that cost someone their life.

AllState Insurance shows the statistics of teenage driving on their webpage. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teenage Americans, this surpasses homicides and and suicides, totaling about 5,000 to 6,000 deaths a year. 56% of teenagers admitted to making and receiving phone calls while they were driving. 13% of teenagers stated that they text and received text messages while driving.

All of this statistics can change. Every single death that has happened due to use of a cell phone while driving could have been avoided. We need to educate our teens and let them know that that one second could take away the rest of their life or someone else. It doesn’t just effect the person who loses their lives, it effects all of the people that love them. Ask your teen if any text message or phone call is worth a life? All it takes is a five minute conversation with teenagers showing them the stories of people who have lost their lives, giving your children proper drivers education, and showing them the statistics. For other statistics and ways to help your teenager know the dangers of driving please visit MADD. Save a life, possibly your own child’s life, by educating your teen.

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