Mason County News
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Teens in the Driver’s Seat at MHS Promotes Click-it or Ticket
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 • Posted March 30, 2011


Among the many groups & organizations at Mason High is Teens in the Driver’s Seat, a group dedicated educating high school students about the importance of safe driving. Throughout the school year our organization works to bring special awareness to the dangers that may arise while driving. Now we are working in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and their Click It or Ticket (CIOT) campaign. It is the most successful seat belt enforcement campaign ever, helping create the highest national seat belt usage rate of 85 percent. Coast to coast, day or night, the message is simple - Click It or Ticket. The TDS students have placed a large banner on the front lawn of the high school reminding all students and parents to buckle up for safety. In addition, there are smaller signs all over campus reminding students to buckle up, window decals and coupons for free food at Whataburger.

About 6,000 teenagers die every year in a car accident. That is the equivalent of a commercial jet full of teenagers crashing every week. For every teenager that is killed, nearly 100 more are injured. Car crashes involving teenagers cost our nation over $41 billion per year. The cost Texas pays is near $3.5 billion. These statistics create a formidable dilemma that must be addressed. When most people are asked what they think the main cause of teenage car crashes is, the answer is most always alcohol or drugs, but this is less than true. Although alcohol & drugs pose a serious problem to teenager’s safety, the reality is that only 12% of teenage crashes are caused by alcohol or drugs. The top three causes of care crashes among teen drivers are driving at night, speeding and distracted driving. Driving at night is dangerous in itself, but when combined with any of the other factors, is immensely dangerous. Speeding is particularly problematic because of the misplaced self confidence most teenage drivers have when behind the wheel. Thinking that driving over the speed limit is fine as long as they’re paying attention does not make it a safe thing to do. The most daunting of all the causes is distractions. Distractions behind the wheel can range from too many passengers, to texting or calling on a cell phone. These dangers are similar to speeding because of the over-confident nature of most teen drivers. Thoughts of "I am a safe driver...Bad things only happen to other people...I’m only going to town...I have to send this message...This will only take a minute" or countless others have lead to unnecessary deaths. At Mason High, our Teens in the Driver’s Seat committee has been working hard in programming in order to educate the student body about the importance of safe driving. From creating and posting signs & posters, to handing out key chains & adorning the cars in the parking lot with antennae toppers, we have been hard at work doing everything we can to keep our friends safe.

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