For the safety of our students…, part 1


A few statistics on teen driving:

(taken directly from

  1. “33% of deaths among 13 to 19-year-olds in 2010 occurred in motor vehicle crashes.
  2. 16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age.
  3. 56% of teens said they talk on the phone while driving.
  4. Statistics show that 16 and 17-year-old driver death rates increase with each additional passenger.
  5. Only 44% of teens said they would definitely speak up if someone were driving in a way that scared them.
  6. Teen drivers with involved parents are twice as likely to wear seat belts.
  7. More than 40% of teen auto deaths occur between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  8. Talking on a cell phone can double the likelihood of an accident as well as slow a young driver’s reaction time down to that of a 70-year-old.
  9. 1 in 5 of 16-year-old drivers has an accident within their first year of driving.
  10. 56% of teenagers rely on their parents to learn how to drive.
  11. Crash risk for teens increase incrementally with each mile per hour over the speed limit.”

So why might I share these statistics with you? Well, for several reasons: First, today we had an exciting, interactive activity presented by ThinkFast Interactive during advisement. Please ask your teen about it and ask them what they may have learned from it. Second, we have been noticing some “erratic” (even dangerous and illegal) driving in our parking lot by some of our students. Unfortunately, this has at times been accompanied by some unfriendly and inappropriate attitudes/gestures.

I am just wanting you all to be aware of this and to be sure that you have had discussions about driving safety with your teenager (and that you are modeling appropriate behaviors, attitudes, and actions for your own children and on behalf of our community). Officer Rodrigue (our SRO) has agreed to help and will issue citations (along with any accompanying fines/points) if necessary. But I really, really don’t want it to come to that–our primary concern here is safety. And when it comes right down to it at the end of the day, is it really worth it to sacrifice the safety of yourself or others for the sake of a text message, a phone call, or to just “look cool” to others around you? I hope not. As we learned today during our advisement presentation, those 4.6-second decisions often have disastrous consequences.

Just food for thought…