Teen Driving Risks, Guidance for Parents

We have every reason to worry about our teen drivers, but like most things, there are ways we can help protect them. Traffic crashes are the #1 killer of teenagers and 1 in 4 crash fatalities in the United States involves a 16- to 24- year old. The first six months after getting a license are the most dangerous time for any driver, and the risk stays high until the young driver becomes 25.

According to National Teen Driver Survey, of more than 5,600 high school students, representing the 10.6 million 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students in U.S. public high schools, high school students are driving under highly dangerous conditions on a routine basis. The survey results are available on a web site called "Keeping Young Drivers Safe." This Web site for parents and educators from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/State Farm alliance is packed with practical information on developing a plan that will enable new drivers to develop the skills and habits they need to stay safe. You'll find information on working with a new driver to set goals and rules; developing a timeline for parent-guided driving lessons; and developing a parent/teen driving agreement.

Here are a few highlights from the report:
  • Teens say they routinely drive while fatigued;
  • 48% report talking on cell phones while driving;
  • 21% said they have driven without wearing seatbelts;
  • 41% of the respondents reported having seen a peer driving under the influence;
  • and 50% reported driving at least 10 miles over the speed limit at least sometimes.
Before you start teaching your teen how to drive, check this site out and talk about the dangers with your teens. Photo credit: cynroux

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