This past spring break was particularly deadly as it claimed the lives of two teenage drivers in Austin. One Lake Travis High School student was killed in a car accident while traveling eastbound on Highway 71. Tragically, she was struck by a semi-truck.
Later the following week, a separate car accident occurred that claimed the life of another student from S. F. Austin High School, not two weeks before his birthday. Police say the student was driving on West Caesar Chavez Street when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a light pole. The passenger survived. However, the 17-year-old driver did not.
Spring Break is a Dangerous Time for Teenagers to Drive
While teenagers are happy to be out of school for spring break, most are unaware it is a dangerous time to be driving. First off, there are more teenagers on the road. This means more 16 to 19-year-olds with underdeveloped brains and a lack of experience (both of which often lead to bad decisions) careening around in metal tanks. Moreover, the fluctuation in Austin temperatures, which can range from beautiful to very hot, allows the air molecules inside the tire to expand. This causes tire blowouts, which can most certainly lead to an accident.
However, the biggest risk to teenage drivers during spring break is arguably SXSW in Austin. Tens of thousands of people flock to Austin each year during SXSW to partake in the many panels and parties that happen downtown. This means the roads are more overcrowded than usual, increasing the chances of teenagers getting into accidents. Moreover, this means many drivers are typically from out of town and don’t know the city very well, which can lead to a lot of drivers on their phones or making wrong turns on the road. Though the biggest danger by far for teenage drivers during their spring break is drunk drivers.
Parents Should Discuss the Dangers of Driving During Spring Break
Parents of teenage drivers should bear in mind this week of freedom is more dangerous for their children and is not a good time to set them loose on Austin roads. Parents are responsible for having very candid conversations about the risk of overcrowded roads and drunk drivers that flock to Austin every year during their child’s spring break. Parents should also discourage the high risk driving behaviors that inherently come with being a teenage driver and teach their young drivers how to stay safe while on the road.