There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in an irreversible way, but we will begin to get back to “normal” and that includes getting back to school, back to work and back on the road. You have a big birthday coming up, the one that makes you eligible to start earning your driver’s license. But simply being old enough to get a license is no guarantee you are ready to earn one. Even when you do, there are going to be limits on what you can and can’t do behind the wheel. Some limits set by your parents and others that are a matter of law. Driving is of course a rite of passage for just about every American teen, but true maturity comes from following the rules of the road and appreciating their importance to driver and pedestrian safety.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens. Consider these statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA): There were 3,255 Teen Drivers (15-19) involved in fatal crashes in 2017. Total teen deaths were 2,526 and 229 of those deaths were due to distracted driving.
The last thing most new drivers want to hear is another adult talking about responsibility. Most teens will struggle to hold back their eye-rolling and scoffing when exposed to all of the brochures, posters, videos and lectures about teen drivers. The reality is that adults, parents included, remember exactly what it was like to be your age. Be patient. Adult instructors have been where you are now; they are there to make sure you, and all those around you, are not endangered by your actions.