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Teen Driver Week

Teen Driver

Family members of teenagers experience every emotion from panic to pride when their teen finally gets a driver’s license. In its efforts to promote safe driving habits among teenagers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA) launched a new safety initiative, “5 to Drive,” and kicked off this week as the National Teen Driver Safety Week.

The “5 to Drive” campaign gives parents tips on how to talk to their teens about safe driving behaviors and addresses the five most dangerous and deadly driving behaviors for teen drivers: alcohol use, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and extra passengers.

No Drinking and Driving. While teenagers are not legally able to purchase or possess alcohol, they are still at risk. In 2012, one of every five teen drivers (aged 15 to 19 years old) who were involved in fatal car crashes had been drinking. Remind your teen that driving under the influence of any impairing substance, including illicit or prescription drugs, could have deadly consequences.

Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Wearing a seat belt is one of the easiest ways for teens to stay safe in a vehicle. Yet, despite the warnings and research, too many teen drivers are not buckling up and neither are their passengers. In 2014, 763 passengers were killed in passenger vehicles driven by teenagers. Remind your teen that it is important for everyone to buckle up on every trip, every time, no matter what.

Eyes on the Road, Hands on the Wheel. Distractions while driving are more than just risky. They can be deadly. You can read more about driving while distracted, here. In 2014, ten percent (10%) of fatal crashes where a teenager was driving involved the teen driver texting, dialing, or using mobile apps while driving. Distracted driving isn’t limited to cell phone use only. Other passengers, audio and climate controls in the vehicle, and eating or drinking while driving, are all examples of dangerous distractions for teen drivers.

Slowing Down. Speeding is a critical issue for all drivers, especially teens. In 2014, almost one-third (30%) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding at the time of the crash. Remind your teen to drive within the speed limit.

Passenger Limitations. Extra passengers in your teenager’s car can lead to disastrous results. According to data recently analyzed by the NHTSA, teenager drivers were two and half times more likely to engage in one or more potentially risky behaviors while driving with one other teenager peer in the vehicle, as compared to when the teen is driving alone. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behavior triples when traveling with multiple passengers.

Parents can help protect their teenagers by talking with them about these risks. However, accidents can still happen – even with the most responsible and careful teen drivers. If your teenager has been injured in a car accident, call Beltz & Beltz today at 727-201-9944 or 813-559-9090, and speak with one of our lawyers. The call is always free.

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