Car safety proves valuable for teen drivers


Graphic: Skylar Scobbo/FHS Press

In order to avoid an accident while driving, it is important to maintain focus and keep as many distractions away as possible.

Car safety is more important than some like to acknowledge. Whether driving alone or with a passenger, it is important to keep in mind the rules of the road. To ensure the safety of the driver, anyone else in the vehicle and other vehicles on the road, Penn-DOT has created the following laws in Pennsylvania to prevent accidents. Before drivers get their licenses, they are required to take a written permit test that involves questions about the rules of the road. If they pass this test, they are then required to get so many driving hours in six months’ time on the road with a parent or trusted adult to help teach them how to drive. 

“In my experience, almost all of the accidents I have responded to involving teen drivers were within their first year of driving,” high school resource officer Tom Liberty said.

At Freedom this school year, there have been at least five minor accidents among student drivers. Nationwide, 43% of first-year drivers and 37% of second-year drivers are involved in car crashes. While driving, not only is it important to focus on the vehicle, but also on the other vehicles around. It takes a split second for something major to happen. Changing the lives of many people, accidents can be very minor or major. Fines, potential suspension of license and possible jail time are all punishments drivers can receive from breaking driving laws.

“I should always speak up when I’m in a bad situation and I want out of it. It taught me how important car safety is,” freshman Zoe Sarver said.

Not only are punishments something to be aware of, but something most people don’t think about is the emotional side effects that come with getting into a car accident. When involved in an accident, no matter how severe, there is always going to be some kind of trauma that comes with it. This trauma can last a long time. If in a major accident, there is the potential of guilt and sorrow that can be felt for a great deal of time afterwards. Drivers especially need to be careful since they are the ones in control, and typically the ones to blame. 

“I would just tell everyone to be more aware of other drivers on the road because even if you’re being safe they may not be,” senior Alexis Rinere said.

Another aspect of car accidents a majority of people think about is the physical side effects of a car accident. The majority of minor car accidents still result in concussions and potential cuts that need stitches to heal. More serious accidents can result in surgeries and medical tests that can cost a lot of money. 

Drivers have a great deal of responsibility when they get behind the wheel. They could potentially put their life and the lives of others in danger. When getting into a vehicle, it is important to think about who the driver is and the conditions of the road. When driving, make sure to follow the laws and do what one is supposed to. One minute can change somebody’s entire life.