Jesse R. Striewski
Special to In Motion
There’s no doubt college students have an abundance of responsibility to factor in on a daily basis. But when it comes to the rules of the road, newly licensed and/or college-aged drivers can often be the most careless behind the wheel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the crash risk for young drivers is much higher for newly licensed teens than more seasoned drivers. In fact, teens between the ages of 16 to 19 are at a higher risk of being involved in a motor vehicle accident — and three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident — than drivers ages 20 and up. Based on this information alone young drivers should extra conscientious of their actions when in the driver’s seat.
Daytona State College Campus Safety Manager Russell Gibbons says the average number of minor accidents that occurred on DSC campuses in 2016 was approximately eight per campus, a relatively lower number than expected.
“In my 12 years with the Campus Safety Department, a serious vehicle accident or an accident involving injury has been extremely rare, though we are still always looking at ways to make our campuses safer,” Gibbons says, adding that students must follow all Florida laws governing students while on property.
Still, many DSC students and alumni feel that simply getting around at DSC’s Daytona campus can be a stressful hassle, especially before and after classes when the volume of traffic is at its peak.
Former DSC student Jason Parodi experienced driving at multiple campuses while attending, and says, “If you’re not familiar with the Daytona Campus especially, it can be extremely difficult to navigate.”
Seminole County Sheriff volunteer Randy Ward has seen his share of recklessness caused by young drivers firsthand in the five years since he’s been with the force.
Ward says, “It’s usually teen drivers who don’t know the laws of the road the most, such as the Move Over Law,” which requires drivers to slow down and switch lanes for emergency vehicles.
But it’s not only school campuses where reckless driving is heavily displayed, Nearly every mall, grocery store or gas station parking lot is full of impatient drivers with little to no regard for the safety of themselves or drivers around them, not to mention pedestrians. Even a simple trip “down the road” can turn into a stress-filled frenzy with tailgaters who confuse public roads for the Speedway.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reminds us that every vehicle on the road is just trying to get to its destination. No single driver is more important than the other. So take a few extra seconds to look both ways before making that turn, or actually “stop” at that stop sign. Whatever the hurry is, it’s not worth risking human life over, and absolutely no one is invincible.