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
    • Speeding
    • 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

CDC – Parents Are The Key

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