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Recent Accidents Highlight Need for Teen Safety When Driving

Two tragic car accidents that happened on Sunday in Ohio and Texas that took the lives of 11 teenagers have brought heartache and grief to the families, friends, and classmates of those involved. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families whose sons and daughters had their lives cut way too short.

The first accident happened in the early morning hours of Sunday in Ohio when an SUV with eight teenagers struck a guard rail and flipped into a pond. Only two boys survived. Reports say that none of the teens in the accident in Ohio were wearing seatbelts. The second accident happened later that day in Texas when the teen driver of an SUV with four passengers failed to stop at a stop sign. A truck entering the intersection smashed into the SUV killing all five teens.

According to an article on CNN.com, motor vehicle accidents continue to be the number 1 killer of youths in the United States. In fact, in 2010, car accidents took the lives of about a quarter of the 15- to 24-year-olds who died that year, as reported by the most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It’s nearing spring here in our own county, a time when more teens are likely to be on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration encourages parents to teach safe driving behaviors by reviewing these important rules:

1. Alcohol: Absolutely no alcohol
2. Seat belts: Always buckle up
3. Cell phone/texting: No talking or texting while driving
4. Curfew: Have the car in the driveway by 10 p.m.
5. Passengers: No more than one at all times
6. Graduated drivers license: Follow the state’s law for graduated drivers license.
7. Parental responsibility: Set your house rules and consequences

It’s an exciting time when a new teen driver gets behind the wheel for the first time. We hope you take the responsibility that comes with a drivers license seriously and hope that you are always take care and take your time when driving.