Small Town News

Disaster and Accident

Teenagers more likely to die in car accidents

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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Idaho's teenagers are more likely to die as a result of a car crash than by other causes, according to the state's 2011 vital statistics. Idaho parents lost 68 sons and daughters under the age of 19, as a result of motor vehicle crashes from 2009-11.

As graduation season approaches, high school graduates are remembering their classmates who will never get to walk to receive a diploma because they died too young in a motor vehicle crash.

"You have to wonder that if we lost this many kids due to an epidemic or an illness that we would want to find a cure, but driving is not seen as high-risk activity for kids by most parents," said Officer Kyle Wills of the Boise Police Department.

Teenage drivers (ages 15-19) represent nearly six percent of licensed drivers during the last three years (2009-2011), but represent 17 percent of drivers involved in fatal and serious-injury, aggressive-driving crashes, and 17 percent of the drivers involved in fatal and serious-injury, distracted-driving crashes.

That means teenage drivers were involved in nearly three times as many fatal and serious-injury, aggressive-driving crashes as would be expected and also involved in nearly three times as many fatal and serious-injury, distracted-driving crashes as would be expected.

"No matter how good a driver you think you are, taking your eyes off the road at 55 mph for just 4.6 seconds, which is the length of time it takes to read and send a text, is like driving the length of a football field blindfolded," said Wills.

The Idaho Transportation Department and law enforcement agencies are continuing to dedicate time and resources to making roads safer for all drivers by targeting aggressive and distracted drivers who speed, fail to yield, follow-too-close, and/or text while driving.

In the midst of this chopping sea of civilized life, such are the clouds and storms and quicksands and thousand-and-one items to be allowed for, that a man has to live, if he would not founder and go to the bottom and not make this port at all, by dead reckoning, and he must be a great calculator indeed who succeeds. Simplify, simplify.

—Henry David Thoreau

An act of love that fails is just as much a part of the divine life as an act of love that succeeds, for love is measured by fullness, not by reception.

—Harold Loukes

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Original Publication Date: April 24, 2013

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