by Merissa Blitz
Now that we’re all in highschool, driving to school, and to other places, has become more common. Friends drive each other to school, to afterschool activities, to parties, and much more. However, laws passed on August 1st have made these pastimes a little harder to partake in. To be eligible for a driver’s license, a teen that has recieved a permit after August 1, 2008 has to complete 30 hours of classes, 8 hours of on road driving through their driving school, 2 hours of parent training, and 32 extra hours of on road driving with a home trainer. The reason for putting on all of these restrictions is because of the fatal results of teen car crashes. Even though many teens are driving, that doesn’t mean they’re good at it. Motor vehicles are the leading cause of death of teenagers. About 40% of all teen deaths are a result from a motor vehicle accident.
What do teens think about all this? “I think that most teen car crashes involve teens who are drunk driving,” says Natschja Ratanapryul. “When I’m driving people home from school I tend to get distracted by talking to them,” adds Kelsey Zielinski. Brandon Lucibello says, “I think that most teenage crashe invlove people talking or texting on their cellphone. According to a 2005 survey of 1,000 people ages 15-17 that was conducted by the Allstate Foundation, 56% of young drivers use cell phones while driving, 69% said that they speed to keep up with traffic, 64% said they speed to go through a yellow light, 47% said that passengers sometimes distract them and nearly half said they believed that most crashes involving teens result from drunk driving.