Do you remember your neighborhood when you first moved in with your young family? There were probably many other young parents like you pushing their children in strollers. Fast forward 10-15 years and all those young children being pushed in strollers are now getting their first drivers licenses. The thought of a neighborhood full of teenage drivers can keep you up at night with worry.
In the United States, the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16-19 year-olds is nearly 3 times the rate for drivers ages 20 and over. Risk is highest at ages 16-17. In fact, the fatal crash rate per mile driven is nearly twice as high for 16-17 year-olds as it is for 18-19 year-olds. Fortunately, teen motor vehicle crashes are preventable, and proven strategies can improve the safety of young drivers on the road.
There are proven methods to helping teens become safer drivers.
Of the teens (aged 13-19) who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2012 approximately 55% were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.
Research shows that seat belts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by about half. Don't allow wearing seat belts to be an option for your teenage driver. Make sure they don't take their car out of park with them and every passenger buckled up!
No Drinking & Driving
Enforcing minimum legal drinking age laws and zero blood-alcohol tolerance laws for drivers under age 21 are essential. Your child must be constantly reminded there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving. Whether you child is a driving or a passenger, they must not be in a car that is being operated by anyone that has been using drugs or alcohol.
No Texting & Driving
10% of drivers of all ages under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. Parents must take a firm stance against texting while driving. No text or message is worth a human life.
You are the Example
Teenagers will mimic the behavior of the adults in their life. If you drive or ride without a seatbelt on, your children will too. If you text and drive, expect your child to do the same. Set an example. Be responsible and model the driving behavior you want your child to follow. Read more on the CDC.
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