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Keeping teens safe on the roads

With the return of summer comes BBQs, concerts and road trips, but for Maryland teens it also means the return of a deadly driving season. According to WTOP, Memorial Day marks the beginning of 100 days where teen drivers are most at risk to have a fatal car crash. More than 5,000 people have died from accidents involving teen drivers in the 100 day period over the past five years.

Distracted driving is the cause of many of these crashes. In fact, when it comes to teen drivers, 60 percent of accidents have some sort of distraction involved--typically a smartphone. The Herald-Mail Media reports that if a driver is sending a text while driving he or she looks away from the road for an average of five seconds. This gives ample time to drift into the other lane, follow the driver ahead without enough space between vehicles or not slow down quickly enough to avoid a collision. In Maryland, talking on a cellphone that is in hands-free mode is legal, as is switching between radio stations, but other phone usage while on the road is prohibited.

Ensuring that Maryland teens know the rules of the road, and the dangers, could help to save lives. Encourage teens to pull over when they need to send a text or make a phone call, and avoid calling or texting when it is a time they would be on the road. When they are riding along with someone else, embolden teens to ask drivers to put down their phones or to send a text on the driver’s behalf so no one is driving while distracted.

 

 

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