Susceptibility to peer pressure and vulnerability to distractions make teenagers some of the most dangerous drivers on the road. They are also the most at risk. Every year, dozens of teenagers die because of unsafe driving practices in Tennessee. Sometimes, they are at fault. Other times, they are passengers. There are also instances where lack of experience makes it difficult for them to safely maneuver out of dangerous situations caused by other drivers on the road.
Tennessee’s state website reports that motor crashes form the number one killer of children who fall between the ages of 1 to 14 years old. It is also the second most common reason that these children are hospitalized or seek emergency care. When it comes to teens between the ages of 15 to 19 years old, car crashes claim 68 lives in Tennessee each year.
One of the reasons teens often do not survive car crashes is a refusal to wear seatbelts. A campaign called Battle of the Belt hopes to combat this. Schools compete against each other for the highest compliance rates with seatbelt use laws. The school with the best educational campaign and the highest seatbelt percentage use gets a trophy at the end of the year.
Perhaps, some bittersweet news is that Tennessee does not rank among the worst states for teen drivers, though it does not stand with the best either. Believe it or not, WalletHub reports that the safest state for teen drivers is New York; the worst is Wyoming. Tennessee ranks at 34 out of the 50 American states. Researchers used several factors to calculate safety for teen drivers. These include teen driver fatalities, quality of roads, driving schools per capita and teen DUIs.