Our Maine Street's Aroostook Issue 24 : Spring 2015 - Page 78

Healthy You: Behind the Wheel by Kim Jones I like to drive. The freedom that comes with jumping behind the wheel and going wherever I want is appealing to me. I share in the great American dream of wanting to drive from coast to coast someday soaking in all this country has to offer – preferably in a convertible with an unobstructed view and my hair blowing freely in the breeze. I also happen to think driving is great fun. Some of my favorite childhood memories include sitting on my dad’s lap steering the car while he worked the pedals (long before the days of child car seat laws); zipping around the backyard on dirt bikes; and tooling Main Street in my first set of wheels, a baby blue Chevette. As exciting as hitting the open road can be, however, it’s also fraught with danger…the serious 76 SPRING 2015 kind, with potentially deadly consequences. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, two out of three motorists will be involved in an accident that results in injury of either themselves or the other person/people in the crash. Two out of three? Yikes! But before you resign yourself to only travelling by foot, read on to learn how you and your loved ones can be safe in a vehicle. Teens and Young Adults Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for teens. Drivers ages 16 to 19 have fatal car accidents at a rate four times that of drivers ages 25 to 65. Risky behaviors,