Parents, take some time next week to start the driving risks conversation with your teen. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration ( NHTSA) designated October 18th to October 24th Teen Driver Safety Week. Teens may be a little, let’s say… apprehensive about the topic, but this NHTSA “5 to Drive” campaign is a good way to make them listen. Statistics show that car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, 15 – 19 years old. Many of these fatal car crashes have these causes in common: cellphone use while driving, speeding, drugs and alcohol, having extra passengers in the car, and not wearing a seat belt.
That is why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends that parents impose the following rules:
- No cell phone use while driving – When you are distracted, your reaction time slows down, you can’t execute emergency maneuvers, and you are less likely to be able to avoid collisions with other vehicles.
- No speeding – Every time you increase your speed, the stopping distance increases, and your chance of being able to control the car decreases.
- No alcohol – Driving impaired impacts your reaction time, your judgment, your vision, and it is not legal.
- No extra passengers – No more than one passenger at all times. When you have more than one passenger in the car, the risk of getting distracted increases and so is the risk of getting into an accident.
- No driving or riding without a seatbelt – Wearing a seatbelt can significantly reduce your chances of being seriously injured or even killed in a car crash. You and your passenger have to wear a seatbelt.
For more information, resources, and statistics regarding teen driving, please visit www.safercar.gov/parents .
And as always, stay safe!