Houston? We Have a Problem!

Below is a selection from my recent research paper “Drivers of the Adolescent Brain” which takes a look at our young drivers and some of the contributing factors that lead to fatal crashes involving 16 & 17-year-old drivers.

Raising Cain…Lucas…Mary…and…(your child’s name)

“If you have ever raised teenagers I am sure you would vehemently agree with Floyd-Bann & Van Tassel (2006), when they wrote “Parents, teachers, and psychologists all agree that the mind of the typical adolescent is a strange and complicated place” (p. 1).  As I am currently raising my third teenager, I could surely add a few more adjectives that would better describe the teenage mind and how it operates, but for now that topic will have to wait.

To better identify “who” these fatalities were in the tracked accidents, Shults & Ali (2010) using Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), detailed the following victim statistics:

Of the 11,019 persons who died in these crashes, 4,071 (37%) were drivers aged 16 or 17 years; 3,428 (31%) were passengers of those drivers; 1,987 (18%) were drivers of other vehicles; and 805 (7.3%) were passengers of those other drivers.  Another 728 (6.7%) persons were other road users (e.g., bicyclists or pedestrians). (p. 1330)”

One of the statistical pieces of research used in my paper was the “Teenage Driver Fatalities by State: 2011 Preliminary Data” prepared for the Governors Highway Safety Association by Dr. Allan Williams.

During research I found that nine U.S. states allow children at the age of 14 to obtain their “learners”.  According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, those states are: Alaska, Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, North and South Dakota.

I spent a great deal of time researching this topic and decided to write the paper because one child dying due to the lack of  thorough and proper drivers training, is one child too many.  After reading the complete paper, I would be interested in your thoughts, comments or opinions.

Please take the polls below.

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