Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2,614 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes in 2013. Yet, a recent survey shows that only 25 percent of parents have actually had a serious talk with their teen about the importance of safe, responsible driving.
Because of this, the NHTSA designates October 16-22 as National Teen Driver Safety Week. This year, the NHTSA asks parents to talk with teens about the “5 to Drive.” The “5 to Drive” campaign produces five guidelines for teen drivers to follow and stay safe behind the wheel. Studies show that teens with stricter driving restrictions are involved in fewer accidents.
Here are the five rules for parents to enforce, and follow themselves, which address the greatest dangers for teen drivers:
- No Drinking and Driving: First, set a good example by not driving after drinking yourself. You should remind teens that drinking before the age of 21 is illegal, and alcohol and driving should never mix, no matter your age.
- ALWAYS Buckle Up – Drivers & Passengers: Behavior is learned. If you wear your seat belt every time you’re in the car, your teen is more likely to as well. Remind your teen that it’s important to buckle up on every trip, no matter how far or how fast, front seat or back.
- Put the Phone AWAY: Remind your teen about the dangers of texting, dialing and surfing Facebook or the Web while driving. Make it clear that the phone is off-limits whenever the vehicle is in drive. Set a good example, because it’s equally important that parents don’t text and drive either.
- Stop Speeding Before It Stops You: Drive the speed limit and require your teen to do the same. Explain that every time your speed doubles, your stopping distance quadruples. For every ten miles per hour (over 50) you drive, there should be an additional car length between you and other vehicles.
- No More Than One Passenger at Any Time: Teens are far more likely to engage in risky behavior when driving with their peers. With each passenger in the vehicle, your teen’s risk of a fatal crash goes up. Also, check your state’s Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) law before your teen takes to the road; it may prohibit any passengers completely.
Please discuss these guidelines with your teen driver. Requiring them to follow these five rules before they receive the car keys will ensure they develop safe driving habits that may save their lives, or someone else’s.
Hupy and Abraham is committed to preventing teen automobile accidents. To help remind your teen driver, and others, to be safe behind the wheel by not texting and driving, get them a free DNT TXT N DRV bumper sticker HERE.In the event that you or your teenage driver are injured in an automobile accident, contact Hupy and Abraham right away to schedule a free consultation. Call us at 800-800-5678, or start a live chat with us anytime at Hupy.com.