It was driving safety week at a local Catholic high school in Montana. The principal of the school had a wrecked vehicle placed at the entrance to the school parking lot that students use. She said she wanted to car to be near the road so that student drivers would see it as they arrived for school each day. The display is meant to raise awareness of the need for driving safety, which will, in turn, hopefully help reduce the number of car accidents in the area.
In 58% of fatal car accidents involving teenagers, those fatally injured were not wearing proper seat restraint when their collisions occurred. A woman who was age 15 in 2006 recounted how she and a friend, who was 17 at the time, decided to travel without wearing seat belts one day. The 17-year-old was behind the wheel and was reportedly speeding. She lost control, wrecked the car, and both girls were ejected from the vehicle.
Sadly, the driver did not survive the collision. The other teenager, now an adult, speaks to young drivers about the importance of using seat restraint, no matter how short the distance traveled might be. When the crash occurred more than a decade ago, the woman/then a teenager, remained a coma for more than a month. She said that every time she thinks of her friend, she wishes they would have used seat belts that day.
Whether teenager or adult, no Montana traveler is immune from personal injury risk when traveling by motor vehicle. Driving and passenger safety can help avoid car accidents and increase the chances of arriving safely to a destination. However, it is also important to know where to seek support if another driver is negligent and causes a collision that results in injury.