Death rides the highway when drink takes the wheel! South Carolina is the second worst state in the nation for drinking-related fatalities per capita (10.5 alcohol-related fatalities per 100,000 people).
According to Learn-About-Alcoholism.com
Montana is the worst (10.9 per capita). It was also mentioned that every day an average of 11,318 teens try alcohol for the first time. Anwsers.com adds that drinking and driving causes over 25,000 deaths a year. It has been said that one out of every 10 drivers is a drunk driver! It is known that most of the fatal drinking and driving crashes occur late at night and early morning hours.
Although our country declared war on illegal drugs, it allows massive promotion and glorification of another drug called alcohol. The alcohol industry yearly spends some $2 billion in promoting and marketing its product through advertising. Wikipedia declares that 45 percent of the commercials that young people view each year are advertisements for alcohol. It also reveals that the beer brewing industry spent more than $770 million on television ads and $15 million on radio ads in 2000. Drinking seems to be portrayed as what makes things fun, exciting and worthwhile!
Results of studies are shared in the First Eagle website. For example, every 22 minutes someone dies in an alcohol-related motor vehicle crash.
Sixty percent of all teen deaths in car crashes are alcohol-related. During weekends one in 10 drivers has been drinking. Cars and bars can mean stars and scars!
Four quick drinks usually results in an illegal blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The liver handles one drink per hour, so there are times drinkers need to “BAC” off! Only time will lower the amount of alcohol in blood.
Some safe driving strategies to be considered are: Blow your horn before passing a driver whose vehicle is drifting — if the driver then drifts more, assume the driver is intoxicated and don’t pass. Expect intoxicated drivers to make erratic maneuvers — especially during late hours. If a DUI driver is following you, consider turning off at the next street or driveway — don’t pull off to the side of the road since such drivers are drawn to lights of stopped vehicles.
Drinking can be deceptive — “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise” (Proverbs 20:1). Be sure to overcome the downward steps of drinking that can happen: Descend, Deception, Despair, Disgrace, Disease and Death.
National Disaster? 3 Mile Island — no deaths. Alcohol — over 561 deaths a day (P.A.P.A., Inc.). Why doesn’t our country wake up to this tragic problem and take measures against it like they have with the tobacco industry? Statistics show that thousands are killed by intoxicating liquor while only one is killed by a mad dog; yet we shoot the dog and license the liquor!
SCDTSEA Public Relations
The following are explanations for various automobile accidents which were taken from insurance claim forms by Tilden Ltd., Canada’s for – most car rental agency:
Because of the hard economic times, the legislature’s desire has been to cut as many services as possible. Therefore they are attempting to suspend the proviso requirement that driver education be taught in high schools for a year. This will allow the school boards and superintendents the option of cutting driver education. It has been said that leadership is seeing a problem before it becomes an emergency, and our desire is to alert parents, teachers and any other entity that this decision will impact. The fact is that parents may not be able to have their children receive driver education in high school unless they contact their legislatures, school boards and superintendents now.
Driver education programs have partnered with parents in helping to develop proper knowledge, attitudes, and sufficient driving skills that are so vital in facing the complex traffic conditions. We know, as well as the parents, that the number one cause of teenage deaths is driving. Driver education is a course for life, helping students to drive safely throughout life. Granted, the need for reading, writing and arithmetic is obvious, but what will it profit teens if they don’t know the physics of vehicles, the effect of alcohol & other drugs, the need of seat belts, etc., and end up killing themselves in vehicle crashes?
Driver education in high schools gives students the opportunity to learn more because of 30 classroom hours, whereas commercial driver training only gives 8 classroom hours. While both driver education delivery methods have their praises and critics, SCADTSEA does not support any attack on the disbandment of either high school or commercial driver education. A great driver education course develops an understanding of the tremendous responsibility of operating a motor vehicle, not merely to prepare students to pass the Driver License Test!
It is our belief that most driver educators have classroom objectives like: learning psychology in driving, understanding the importance of good vision in driving, recognizing the role of physical fitness and safety, knowing the influence of alcohol and drugs on a person, learning the traffic laws, understanding stopping and driving guidelines, understanding the differences between country and city driving, understanding characteristics of freeway driving, understanding adverse or special driving conditions, understanding the automobile engine, understanding principles in maintenance of a vehicle, purchasing a vehicle, explaining characteristics of commercial driving (knowing the economic significance of the motor vehicle in America and the degree to which our economy depends on it), recognizing traffic and engineering needs, and describing how to maneuver the vehicle.
We know that parents also believe that driver and traffic safety education is too important to learn by chance or in a haphazard way. Driver education gives the proper tools to teach teenagers to drive safely. We consider it an honor to be entrusted by parents to help educate their children. Please help save driver education in high school and help to save teenagers! Share this information with anyone who can help save driver education in High School.
Steve Phillips, President
We are facing a change in the way South Carolina driver education will be taught. As some of you already know the South Carolina legislature is looking at changing a proviso that will allow high schools the option of providing driver education. Attached is a letter that has been sent to some PTA groups and legislatures. Our board has decided to try and take this fight to the local school boards and superintendents reminding them how important driver education is. I urge you to contact every local authority that might help prevent schools from opting out of providing driver education.
I know that our members are made up of commercial and public educators. I really believe that South Carolina has a nice balance. We need to look at this time in history as a chance to support one another. Our association should fight for and will fight for both entities. These are our brothers and sisters working together to provide education for our daughters, sons, and grandchildren. Now more than ever we need to stand together and put differences and critics aside.
We are one voice. That voice is driver education is important. I would hope that if the commercial schools were being pushed out of business by legislatures the public schools would stand up for them as we ask now for the commercial schools to stand by our public educators.
The fact is teen crashes are still the number one cause of death for this age group. We need every educator teaching to try and save South Carolina teens. Please contact your local representatives, church groups, PTA’s and any other organization that will listen and help save driver education in the public schools. It is never acceptable for driver education to be pushed aside and removed because it is not considered a core subject. Life and the preservation of life is always a core subject.
Steve Phillips, President
We certainly have a lot of challenges in driver and traffic safety education and need to do better. Vehicle crashes are still the leading cause of teen fatalities. Surveys show that only 50 percent of teens take a driver education or driver training course (check our website to see alarming “Teen Driving: Facts and Statistics”). Decades ago every state mandated high school driver education. Teaching standards and curriculum need to be improved. There is more of an emphasis now in our profession on making money rather than meeting the needs of the students. As you look at the SCDTSEA website, you will find that SCDTSEA has been very active lobbying for more and better driver and traffic safety education.
It has been enjoyable and rewarding in trying to be of service and working toward making our educational profession a better one. It has also been a joy to see so many of you putting professionalism into action! After many years of teaching, I came up with these thoughts on professionalism:
Professionalism isn’t simply having higher degrees—it’s being of a higher breed; it isn’t simply teaching for years—it’s teaching for quality; it isn’t just to make money—it’s to mold teens to become safe drivers for life; it isn’t haughty pride—it’s humbling service; it isn’t talk—it’s action; and it isn’t promises—it’s performances.
I would like to challenge all of us to be involved with results. Involvement is merely putting your belief into action! Do we believe in safety education? Do we consider safety education a ministry? If we consider our educational profession a “high calling,” we will dedicate ourselves to be involved and to have results! We will be rewarded more than by making money. We will be rewarded by knowing that we have helped our teens to mature and to become experienced drivers. It is one thing to work for a living; it’s another thing to work for a cause! Our teaching is preparing students for living! You will also be rewarded by the appreciation your students give you. In this regard, a quotation by Charles V. Youmans should be very alarming: “God pity the teacher who does not the job for which he is paid (no matter how little). For in time, his students will raise a whole generation to curse him for his negligence.”
Please make plans to attend our November 21, 2014 SCDTSEA Conference at Blythewood’s SCDMV. I believe that our time together will help inspire, inform, encourage and increase our resolve for more and better driver and traffic safety education. Let us all keep on keeping on to “Make Safety First and Make It Last.”
We, the Driver Educators Of South Carolina, Do Hereby Dedicate Our Personal and Professional Efforts as Teachers:
Most states have a GDL law that teenagers can’t get a license before 18 years of age if they don’t take a driver ed. or driver training course (in South Carolina it’s 17 years of age). Now a study is showing concern that teenage crashes at 18 are high because many got a license without taking a driver ed. or driver training course (Associated Press, “Fatal crashes up among 18-year-olds” by Lindsey Tanner).
We believe the majority would agree with David Strickland, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s administrator. He said the following at the 2011 American Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association Conference: “… Research indicates that immaturity and inexperience are two of the main contributing factors for the high teen driver crash rate.”
Be assured, even if it is agreed to raise the SC license age to 18 instead of 17, teenagers can get a restricted license earlier that will turn into a regular license later. What we are advocating will not hinder teenagers to drive legally until a later age (the restricted license automatically turns into a regular license at a later age). What we are advocating will help to have more teenagers take a driver ed. or driver training course before getting a license!
Most Europeans countries have seen the need to require several safety courses before granting licenses to teenagers. Instead, we are seeing teenagers getting licenses without a driver ed. or driver training course. The results? Eleven teens die in car wrecks every day. Some say up to 5000 teenage deaths (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) and vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens. To be sure, driving constitutes the greatest hazard to survival through which American youth must pass to reach adulthood.
Parilman & Associates’ fact sheet indicates that 23 percent of teenagers killed in 2005 were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The 2009 Health Education Standards require alcohol and drug education for ALL students. Students taking a driver ed. or driver training class would be aware of the dangers of anyone driving who is under the influence. Another website indicates that the risk of a crash for a new driver is much higher during the first year a teen dries and some 400,000 teens are seriously injured yearly (www.car-Accidents.com). It was mentioned that such crashes occur within the first 100-200 miles of travel. Does this not indicate that all teenagers ought to have a driver ed. or driver training course? Such a course will help to overcome immaturity and inexperience. Better drivers make highways safer! Legislation is sorely needed regarding teens taking a driver ed. or driver training course so we can “Make Safety First and Make Safety Last” in South Carolina.
SC Driver & Traffic Safety Education Association