Let’s protect our future….
Posted in the October 14, 2010 edition of the Hamilton Mountain News;
We all remember the rules we had growing up; rules in schools and rules at home. These rules were to get us ready for being an adult. I know that many of us didn’t like the rules that teachers, coaches and our parents posed on us. As we got older we realized they made us better and stronger. Isn’t that what our government has been doing when they change the driving laws?
Statistics from Transport Canada show teen drivers account for roughly 10% of all fatalities for drivers across Canada, but if you add almost 20% of the fatalities from their passengers, and we’re talking a lot of unwarranted deaths. Vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for teens all across North America and not just Canada. What can we do to lower these percentages and what has already been done?
Across our country we see how our government is pressured by many to change the rules of new drivers. The goal is to reduce the injuries and crashes of new drivers; especially teen drivers. Many jurisdictions have imposed a graduated licensing system which poses stiff rules for new drivers; regardless of age.
Do we need stiff government rules to keep our kids safe, or can we make our own safe decisions? I have rules at home that my kids must follow. If they don’t follow them, there are consequences. Limiting the number of passengers is something that many jurisdictions are doing with new drivers. That’s a good idea considering that many people act differently when their friends are in the vehicle with them. Think about it; most of us act the same way when we’re put into the same situation. Can we set up the same rules with the new drivers in our family, regardless of the time of day? Could that help to protect them?
Vehicles are much safer each year, so I’m sure that has helped reduce the possibility of injuries and deaths among teen drivers. With having frontal airbags and curtain airbags, we’re a little safer while driving. Does this mean we don’t need to wear our seatbelts? Almost 40% of fatalities across Canada involved drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts. What part of inertia did they not understand? Show your teen drivers the importance of seatbelts as well.
Teen passengers have the highest percentage across Canada of serious injury while riding in a passenger vehicle. What do you think causes teens to be seriously injured while riding in a vehicle? Do they fool around? Do they sit with their feet up on the dashboard? Do they not wear their seatbelt or perhaps not wear it properly? Maybe they do a combination of those things.
Either way, as parents and owners of the family vehicle, we need to help them.Let’s make it easier for our newer drivers by sitting down with them and discussing the pros and cons about the responsibilities of driving a vehicle. After all, they are our future.