Teens Are Not Immune to Death or Injury
December 20, 2006
In Mandeville, Louisiana, law enforcement and school officials alike are trying to spread the word about safe teenage driving. A forum on teen driving, titled “Teen Focus on Safe Driving: The Myth of the Invincible Teen,” was sponsored by the St. Tammany Parish School Board. The purpose of the forum was to show teens that they are not immune to being killed or seriously injured in a car crash, something that has unfortunately been proven lately by local teen drivers.
At the forum, teams gathered to learn from law enforcement officers, and medical and other driver education professionals. Presenters also showed a national award-winning video that warned teen drivers again of the risks they take every time they get behind the wheel. Not only are they putting themselves at risk when getting involved with poor choices and behavior, but they are putting others at risk as well.
Drinking and driving and not wearing seat belts were two of the most common risky behaviors addressed at the forum. An Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Louisiana State University, Dr. Todd Thoma, stated that almost 40 percent of auto fatalities are due to drinking and driving. And while new seatbelt laws have saved hundreds of thousands of lives, many more people still do not wear them.
The teams, which comprised of a school administrator, two school teachers or counselors, one parent and more than 10 students, gathered in groups after the presentations to brainstorm ideas on sharing what they learned to the rest of their classmates. Ideas such as staging mock accidents and how they could have been avoided by following the rules of the road and holding safe teen driving pep rallies were mentioned.
This forum showed teenagers that they need to be responsible when driving, and be aware of the safety issues and dangers involved. Teens can’t rely on parents and law enforcement officials alone to keep them safe – we need to remember that we are the ones behind the wheel, making the decisions. Hopefully this forum will have showed enough teens how to make the proper decisions, ones that just may save their lives.