Information provided by Mothers Against Drunk Driving—
Parents often worry about their kids’ safety, and they have good reason to be concerned when their teen gets behind the wheel. Young, inexperienced drivers are the most crash-prone drivers on the road. In fact, traffic crashes are the number one cause of death for American teenagers, and summer is an especially dangerous season for teens behind the wheel.
In 2012, the number of teens killed in traffic crashes increased nearly 20% during June and July.
Young drivers have high fatal crash rates because of limited driving experience and immaturity that can often result in high-risk behavior behind the wheel. So before summer is in full swing, talk with your teens about safe driving. MADD’s Power of Parents program provides parents with some tips on how you can help your teen beat the odds.
Safercar.gov recommends setting ground rules for teen drivers, such as:
- No Alcohol. In 2012, there were 1,875 young drivers (15 to 20 years old) who died in motor vehicle crashes. Twenty-eight percent of them had alcohol in their system, even though they weren’t of legal drinking age.
Underage drinking is illegal and dangerous – and we’re not just talking about drunk driving (learn more). Have your teens take our Power of You(th) pledge to not drink until 21 and never ride with someone who has been drinking.
- No Cell Phones. No matter how experienced you are as a driver, talking on a cell phone while driving reduces your reaction time.
- No Extra Passengers. In a study analyzed by NHTSA, teen drivers were two-and-a-half times more likely to engage in one or more potentially risky behaviors when driving with one teenage peer compared to when driving alone.
- No Speeding. Speeding is a major factor in teen crash fatalities. In fact, in 2011, it was a factor for 35% of teen drivers in fatal crashes.
- Always Buckle up. Nearly 2,800 teens were killed in passenger vehicle crashes in 2010, 60% weren’t wearing a seatbelt.
When it comes to keeping teen drivers safe, parents are the key. So talk with your teens about safe driving habits, and more importantly, be a role model. Always practice safe driving habits like buckling up, avoiding distractions, and never drive after drinking.See more at: http://www.madd.org/blog/2014/june/safe-at-the-wheel.html#sthash.nblqcnXO.dpuf