National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 15-21. This week and every week, parents should have conversations with their teens about the important rules they need to follow to stay safe behind the wheel of a passenger car, truck, or SUV.
Facts about Teen Driving:
- 5 main risks to teens drivers include:
- Alcohol use
- Not wearing seat belts
- Distracted driving – cell phone use, eating, changing radio, peers in car
- Extra passengers
- Of teens (15-19 years) who were killed in car accidents, 50% were not wearing seatbelts
- When teens driving other teen passengers (13-19), 90% who died in accidents were not wearing a seatbelt.
- driving and talking on cell phone increases risk of crash 4X
- two or more peer passengers more than triples risk of fatal crash
- 29% of underage drivers killed in car accidents had alcohol in their system.
- Teens are at high risk of impaired driving, which includes alcohol/drug use, distraction, fatigue, and strong emotions
- Read more here and here
What can parents do?
- Set a good example.
- Learn the risks.
- Begin talking about driving safety with preteens.
- Start with 5 Rules
- No cell phone use or texting while driving
- No extra passengers
- No speeding
- No alcohol
- No driving or riding without a seat belt
- Institute a contract with your young driver
- Do a lot of supervised driving practice while learning and avoid high-risk driving conditions for first 6 months of driving alone
- Talk regularly to your teen about their driving habits and safety
- Avoid scare tactics. Focus on positive actions teens can take to be safe. Read here for ideas.
- Share information with other parents
Here are some additional resources that you might find helpful:
Teen Driver Source by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
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