Earning one's driver's license is one of the most exciting rites of passage a young person can experience.

A driver's license — and access to a vehicle — means freedom, independence and another step toward adulthood.

But just because you've passed your driving test doesn't mean you know everything you need to know to be a good, safe driver.

That's why the Alive At 25 program, which Boyd County high school students recently attended, was so important.

Students spent one evening last week taking in driving advice though the Kentucky Safe Driver and the National Safety Council's program aimed at drivers 15 to 24.

The statistics are jolting:

• Vehicle accidents are the No. 1 cause of death for those 16 to 24.

• Teen drivers are three times more likely to be in a fatal accident than those 20 and older.

• Those 15 to 24 make up one of every eight drivers on the road, but one in every five accidents involves a driver younger than 25.

• One of every four fatal accidents involves a driver younger than 25.

Why are young people involved in more accidents than other drivers?

Lack of experience is likely the main reason. Experience is the greatest teacher, but if gaining experience is dangerous, as it can be with driving, the Alive At 25 program acts as an important measure young drivers can take to avoid tickets, accidents, injuries and fatalities.

Young people also are known for believing they are invincible, that they can't get hurt, that bad things aren't going to happen to them. It's a natural state of mind for the young. We hope Alive At 25 will drive home the point that safety is top priority when driving, for the good of the driver and for the good of fellow motorists. 

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