Be Patient with New Drivers on the Road


Leo Mullen

Not all drivers come to a full stop at red lights or stop signs, like this one on Bates Street in Abington, Mass.

Leo Mullen, Contributor

For a student in high school, junior year can be demanding. SAT’s, AP exams, and looking at colleges are among some things that can make junior year a huge year. There are new demands beyond school, too.

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Abington reported 300 car crashes in 2020 and another 104 occurred in Abington in 2021.

— Leo Mullen

Many juniors are completing their driving hours in order to get their driver’s licenses. With the license comes with a huge degree of freedom, which can be thrilling and is very important for teens.

However, it is important to stay safe while on the road. Statistics from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety show that around 33,000 fatal car crashes occurred in 2019 which resulted in approximately 36,000 deaths.

Driving academies have instructors who will teach students different skills and do certain maneuvers on the road. For instance, new drivers who are 16 or 17 must complete a driver’s education course, pass the written permit exam, complete 12 driving hours with a driving instructor and 6 observation hours with a parent or guardian, and have their permit for 6 months (182 days) while remaining accident free to be eligible for a road test.

Although students may be taught very well and may be very good drivers, they still must be very careful while on the road. They can’t control other drivers, so it is important for them to be alert to situations they may be put in. It is important that student drivers stay safe on the road and act with caution because there are too many impatient adult drivers.

In my 10 months of driving, I’ve seen three adult drivers fly right through red lights, one driver in the wrong lane, and I’ve been honked at twice by impatient adult drivers.

According to MassDOT, Abington reported 470 crashes in 2019 and 300 car crashes in 2020 [less people commuting to work due to the pandemic]. Luckily, none of those were fatal. However, it is important for people to know just how common accidents occur.

Although this seems obvious and repetitive, everyone should stay off their phones,. Don’t drive under the influence. Wear your seatbelt. And take all other necessary precautions before hitting the road.

Last year an accident happened almost every single day in Abington alone. It is very important for your safety and others that you are cautious while driving.