Last week was National Teen Driver Safety Week, but driving safely should be recognized all year long.
According to the Center for Disease Control, an average of 8 teens die per day in car crashes. In the United States, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens 14-18 years old.
Of those teen drivers involved in an accident, half will die.
During the national safety week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promoted its "5 to Drive" campaign. They discussed and promoted 5 rules to follow when driving. These rules focused on the top five problems for teens while driving:
2. Seat Belts
4. Texting while Driving
5. Extra Passengers
Saying no to alcohol, wearing your seat belts, staying below the speed limit, not texting while driving, and minimizing passengers in the car are 5 ways to reduce distractions and dangers while driving.
Other important things to remember include paying attention to your surroundings and not following too closely to the vehicle in front of you.
An interesting point discussed during the safety week is that only 25% of parents have talked to their children about the rules of the road and expectations. The NHTSA suggests finding ways to start that conversation. They also suggest being an example of a good driver from the beginning. Teens will learn many habits that they have seen their parents and other adults do. Some examples include eating while driving, talking on the phone, or trying to multitask in some other way while driving.
It is always important to be a good example for your children and to remind them of the "5 to Drive." With regular reinforcement, good habits will be instilled in teen drivers and will reduce the amount of accidents, injuries, and deaths.