Car accidents are the leading cause of accidental deaths of teenagers in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That frightening fact is being dealt with in a unique way in Texas, where a select group of teens took a supplemental driver’s education course that dealt with the realities of risky driving – the Texas Reality Education for Drivers (RED) program.
The program, which included touring intensive care units, emergency rooms, and a morgue, showed in graphic detail what can happen in a serious car accident. The teens who participated had all been referred by a court or a school administrator as part of a disciplinary action; or they had been referred by a community group or a parent. All of the teens had exhibited poor driving behavior.
Prior to the program, the teens filled out a questionnaire where they reported their most risky driving behaviors. Those behaviors included talking on the phone or texting while driving, driving between midnight and 6:00 A.M., and driving on highways. They were also asked to rate the risk levels of certain behaviors, such as riding with an intoxicated driver, drinking and driving, making calls or texting on a cell phone, and speeding.
During the program, which took place in a hospital setting, the teens spoke with nurses and other health care personnel that had experience with car crash victims. They also attended lectures, watched videos, and participated in discussions and activities designed to come up with ways to adhere to safer driving.
At the end of the program, data was inconclusive as to whether the program made a difference once a teen was behind the wheel. However, the program did serve to increase the teens’ recognition of speeding hazards, and it did endow them with a greater awareness of peer influence on drinking and driving. They also noted that parental monitoring increased after the teens participated in RED.
Research has shown that there is a great need for reality-based driving programs. RED and programs like it have the potential to increase awareness, improve decision-making skills for driving, and negate peer influence.
A car accident can turn your world upside down and change your life forever. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury in a car accident, or a loved one has died because of their injuries, please call the New Jersey car accident lawyers at Eichen Crutchlow Zaslow, LLP at 732-777-0100, or contact us online for a free consultation. We will provide the compassionate guidance you need during a challenging time, and we will work tirelessly to recover the maximum financial compensation possible for your injuries. Our offices are conveniently located in Edison, Red Bank, and Toms River, and we serve clients throughout New Jersey.