October 15th-21st is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Bureau wants to remind young drivers to be safe behind the wheel. While it is important that young drivers practice safe driving, parents need to ensure that their children know the rules of the road.
These rules address the greatest dangers for teen driving and should be reiterated consistently. Your child should never be on their cellphone while driving, as this is a form of distraction that weans their focus away from the road. Speeding is the cause of nearly 1/3rd of fatalities in motor vehicle accidents, according to the NHTSA. Remind your teenagers that it is better to arrive a few minutes late, than to not arrive at all.
Many teenagers are involved in early morning band practices and late-night football games. Drowsy driving is a danger that teenagers need to be aware of and take proper precautions to ensure they come home safely. It shouldn’t have to be said, but driving while under the influence is a resounding no for drivers of any age. Everybody makes mistakes, so if your teenager decides to have a drink, make sure they know who they can call for a ride home.
Officers with any agency will administer a ticket for driving without a seatbelt, and that is safety tip number five. While speaking with your teens this week, remind them of the importance of buckling up. Perhaps the least known bit of advice, but just as important, the number of passengers in a vehicle can severely impact and increase the potential risk of an accident. Other teenagers can be a distraction for young people behind the wheel, so consider setting a passenger limit for when your teen drives.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens (15-18 years old) in the United States. In 2021, 2,608 people were killed in crashes involving a teen behind the when, of which 861 deaths were the driver.
Parents and guardians can be the biggest influence on our teens’ choices when they are behind the wheel. Make sure that you are practicing what you preach by following proper driving rules. Most teenagers will not do what you say, but what you do.