It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week: Tips to Share with Your Kids

In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens between the ages of 15 and 18. This means that, as the parent of a teen, the best thing you can do to keep your child healthy and safe is to talk about driver safety. National Teen Driver Safety Week is from October 20 to October 26, 2019, and it’s an excellent time to review some driver safety tips with your teen.

Tip One: Say No to Drinking and Driving

Teens aren’t allowed to drink alcohol in the United States – but this doesn’t always stop them. The same goes for marijuana, which has been legalized in many states for medicinal and recreational use. Talk to your teen about the dangers of driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Make sure your teen knows never to drive while intoxicated, even if they think they’re only “buzzed.” Also make sure your teen knows never to accept a ride from a driver who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Talk to them about what to do in different scenarios to make sure they get home safely.

Tip Two: Buckle Up

Seat belts save lives. Unfortunately, teens may not always bother to buckle up. Then, if an accident occurs, the odds of injury or death go way up. In 2017, it’s estimated that seat belts saved 14,955 lives, and that 2,549 more people could have lived if they’d been wearing seat belts.

Talk to your teen about buckling up every time they get in a car – whether they’re the driver or a passenger, sitting in the back or the front, or going on a long drive or a short trip down the block. Also talk to them about making sure their passengers always buckle up when they’re driving. This could prevent them from getting a ticket. It could also prevent them from being responsible for a friend’s death.

Tip Three: Quiet the Distractions

Distracted driving kills nine people and injures more than 1,000 people every day in the United States.

Most states have passed laws against texting while driving. Some states also ban using handheld devices while driving. Your teen may face even stricter restrictions under your state’s graduated driver licensing program. Regardless of your state’s laws, the rule of thumb for safety is clear: Don’t use a phone while driving.

But phones aren’t the only possible distraction. Drivers can also be distracted when they’re eating food, changing the music or looking for directions. Other passengers can also be a distraction, especially when they’re energetic teens. For this reason, graduated driver licensing programs often place restrictions on teen passengers.

Talk to your teen about the dangers of distracted driving, and make sure you’re acting as a good role model by always focusing on the road when you drive. Learn about your state’s graduated driver licensing program, and make sure your enforcing the rules.

Tip Four: Obey the Rules of the Road

Your teen had to pass a driving test to get a license. This means they should know the rules of the road. It does not guarantee, however, that they’ve maintained good habits. Make sure your teen isn’t speeding, swerving in and out of lanes, or engaging in other dangerous driving behaviors. If your teen doesn’t take the dangers seriously, point out how expensive tickets and insurance hikes can be.

Finally, be sure that your teen is driving with comprehensive auto insurance. Get a quote here.

Sources
  • https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/teen-safety/national-teen-driver-safety-week

  • https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/seat-belts

  • https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/index.html

  • https://www.ghsa.org/state-laws/issues/teen%20and%20novice%20drivers

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