According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, traffic accidents are the leading cause of death of teens in the U.S. To try and combat this, Corey Slovis, the professor and chair of emergency medicine at Vanderbilt University recently provided drivers with five tips. These tips appeared in the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Reporter.
The first two tips -- do not text while driving or drink and drive -- are things that teens have 100 percent complete control over.
Slovis points to the fact that there are no studies that have ever found it to be safe for anyone to text and drive. In addition, he points to the fact that there are about 10,000 fatalities per year attributed to alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents. In order to avoid these types of distracted or drunk driving accidents, the simplest thing to do is avoid the dangerous behavior in the first place.
In addition to making safer driving decisions, Slovis points to the type of car a teen drives as potentially having an impact on whether an accident turns into a fatality.
Slovis said driving a car with air bags can greatly increase the chances of survival in a crash. This being said, while a teen may want to pull into the school parking lot in a cool looking vintage car, know these cars were not built with as many safety features. This is why it is better for a teen to drive a car with air bags, which may mean holding off on driving a vintage muscle car.
This is also something for parents to consider when either helping pay for a first car or setting ground rules about driving.
Lastly, drivers should wear seat belts and reduce distractions. This means passengers should not be trying to get a driver's attention, nor should the radio be too loud.
The hope is that by taking this professor's advice, teen drivers in Tennessee can prevent accidents where either they are injured or others are injured.