Keeping Teen Drivers Safe

Did you know that he leading cause of death among American teens is motor vehicle crashes?  2,600 15 to 19-year-olds were involved in fatal crashes in 2013.  Even more, about 130,000, were injured.

The top causes for teenage automobile deaths were, in order, alcohol, distraction, speeding and passengers.  How much do each of these factors matter?  20{66506b27ca8f5234034d808fc0aabc14bc16ceb45d71027974b073b60f711cfe} of drivers killed in crashes had been drinking.  318 deaths resulted from distractions.  42{66506b27ca8f5234034d808fc0aabc14bc16ceb45d71027974b073b60f711cfe} of crashes involved speeding.  Teens are 2.5 times more likely to engage in risky driving behavior when they have one teenage passenger and three times more likely when there are three more more.

Seat belts play a big role too.  While you would think that buckling up would be almost automatic at this point, teens were unbuckled in over half of the fatalities.

So what can be done?  For starters, kids should have a number of things drilled into their heads when it comes to driving.  These are things that can be exemplified by Mom and Dad from the time they’re babies.  Things like making sure everyone is buckled into their seats and that no drivers ever use their phones.

Teens are notorious for not heeding their parents though, so does any of that even matter?  It does.  According to a survey of 1,000 adult drivers, the top sources of useful driving advice are Dad (52{66506b27ca8f5234034d808fc0aabc14bc16ceb45d71027974b073b60f711cfe}) and Mom (32{66506b27ca8f5234034d808fc0aabc14bc16ceb45d71027974b073b60f711cfe}).  Both are ranked above driving instructors (27{66506b27ca8f5234034d808fc0aabc14bc16ceb45d71027974b073b60f711cfe}).

If you’re a parent who is concerned about keeping your kids safe once they start driving, the best advice is to talk to your kids about safe driving and model it for them.  Practice what you preach.  It could save your kid’s life.

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