Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teens in the United States and of the 17,000 drivers ages 16-17 about 3,400 will be involved in a crash this year. The Maine Bureau of Highway Safety has highlighted some important tips to keep in mind when you are driving. If you can keep these tips in mind when you drive, you may be able to change the number of teens that lose their lives in motor vehicle crashes each year.
- Always wear your seat belt
- Teens have the lowest seat belt use rates of any age group, leading to deadly consequences
- Six of ten drivers ages 16 to 20, killed in crashes, are not belted.
- Two of three teens killed as occupants of motor vehicles, are not belted
- Know how fast you’re going
- Increases your risk of being in a crash
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of deaths for teenagers and no other kind of hazard claims as many lives, including homicide and suicide.
- Turn your cell phone off while driving
- Under Maine Law, drivers under age 18 may not use a cell phone or any handheld electronic device, including iPods, while operating a motor vehicle.
- 34% of teens admit to talking on their cell phone while driving
- 40% of teens ages 12-17, say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or other in danger.
Driving under the influence
- Never drive after consuming alcohol or other drugs
- Maine has a zero tolerance law regarding underage drinking and driving
- More than 10% of Maine’s alcohol-related crashes involve drivers ages 16-20
- Driving under the influence is one of the number one causes of motor vehicle accidents
- Driving at Night
- Stay alert
- Driving at night presents different challenges than daytime driving and traffic fatalities at night are 3 times higher than during the day.
- Maine law prohibits teen drivers from operating a motor vehicle between the hours of 12:00AM and 5:00AM