It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week and parents across the nation struggle with how to address tough topics with their teens, but one of the most important topics to talk about is frequently forgotten — how to drive safely.
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killers of teens in America. In 2011, 2,105 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes – with almost half (45%) of those teen drivers being killed in those crashes.
Yet, a recent survey shows that only 25 percent of parents have had that “serious” talk with their teens about the key components of safe driving.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that teens are only children, and they still have a lot to learn. What parents teach them about driving safely and responsibly may just help save their life.
That’s why local and state highway safety and law enforcement organizations teamed up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to launch a new National Teen Driver Safety Week campaign called “5 to Drive.”
This parent education campaign is designed to challenge and encourage parents to talk it out with their teens and to regularly “set the rules before they hit the road.”
Each day during teen safety week, NHTSA features tips for parents to help keep their teens safe behind the wheel. Set the rules before they hit the road:
1. No Cell Phones While Driving.
Teens texting or dialing while driving have proven to be recipes for disaster. In 2011, 270 people were killed in crashes involving distracted teen drivers. REMEMBER, One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.
2. No Extra Passengers.
Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teens in the car. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior when traveling with multiple passengers increased to three times. REMEMBER, No extra passengers in the car.
3. No Speeding.
4. No Alcohol.
Although all States have zero tolerance laws for drinking and driving under 21, 505 people died in crashes in which 14- to 18-year-old drivers had alcohol in their systems. Nationally in 2011, 27 percent of teen drivers killed had some level of alcohol in their systems. Parents should show zero tolerance for any sign of impaired driving. Teens need to hear this again and again: REMEMBER, No Drinking and Driving.
5. No Driving or Riding Without a Seat Belt.
Teenage belt use is not what it should be. In 2011, over half of the teen occupants of passenger vehicles who died were unrestrained. Teens, and all adults for that matter, need to buckle up every trip, every time, day and night, no matter the distance. REMEMBER, Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time – Front-Seat and Back.
If you are a parent, you’ve tried to protect your kids their entire lives. So don’t hand them the keys to a 2-ton machine and expect them to know what to do.
Please talk to your kids—this week and every week—about how to be smart and safe behind the wheel.
Remember, the “5 to Drive” – Always Set the Rules Before Your Teens Hit the Road. For more information about national Teen Driver Safety Week and the new “5 to Drive” campaign, please visit www.safercar.gov/parents/teendriving.htm.
Article via: Traffic Safety Marketing