2014 National Teen Driver Safety Week: October 19-25

 In Personal Injury

steering wheel to carParents need to talk to first-time drivers. Sadly, surveys show that only 25% of parents take the time to talk with their new drivers about the dangers of driving.

The 2014 – 2015 school year is fully underway. As such, we are seeing an increase of teenage drivers hitting the road for the first time during this time of year. Sadly, teen drivers face many more life-threatening risks on the road than do any other age group. The leading cause of death for 14 to 18 year olds in the United States is motor vehicle crashes.

Being in the automotive industry for many years before becoming an attorney I have always been a strong supporter of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA) teen driver safety week, which occurs this year from October 19 to the 25th.

I encourage parents to start the safety conversation with teen drivers during teen driver safety week, and parents should continue this conversation throughout the year. Additionally, riding along with your teen driver can also help to point out certain driving habits that may need attention.

Together with the help of NHTSA we have compiled a quick facts sheet and talking points to bring up with your teen driver:

Remember the “5 to Drive”:

1.No Drinking and Driving. Set a good example by not driving after drinking. Remind your teen that drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should never mix.

Teen Driver Alcohol fact: Nationally in 2012, 28 percent of the young drivers (15 to 20 years old) who were killed in crashes had a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.

2.Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. Lead by example. If you wear your seatbelt every time, your teen is more likely to follow suit. Remind your teen that it’s important to buckle up on every trip, no matter how far.

Teen Driver Seatbelt fact: In 2012, of all the young (15- to 20-year-old) passenger vehicle drivers killed in crashes, more than half (55%) of those killed were unbuckled.

3.Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. Remind your teen about the dangers of texting or dialing while driving, and that the phone is off-limits when they are on the road. It’s equally important to model safe driving habits for your teen—you shouldn’t text and drive either.

Teen Driver Phone fact: In 2012, among drivers 15 to 19 years old who were distracted in fatal crashes, nearly 1 in 5 were distracted by phones. This age group had the highest percentage of drivers distracted by phone use.

4.Stop Speeding Before It Stops You. Drive the speed limit, and require your teen to do the same. Explain that every time your speed doubles your stopping distance quadruples. 

Teen Driver Speeding fact: In 2012, speeding was a factor in almost half (48%) of the crashes that killed 15- to 20-year-old drivers.

5.No More Than One Passenger at Any Time. Don’t allow your teen to drive with more than one passenger at a time. Check your state’s graduated drivers licensing laws as it may prohibit any passengers.

Teen Driver Passenger fact: According to a recent survey by the Allstate Foundation, half of all teen drivers even admit that they are safer drivers without their friends as passengers.

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net by blackstock

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