Today kicks off National Teen Driver Safety Week from October 19-25, 2014. Teen driving safety is a major concern for any parent. While a new teen driver can be an important milestone, parents need to know that teenagers make up an alarmingly high percentage of fatal accidents in the United States, and Rhode Island and Massachusetts are no exception.
Recently, we posted some alarming statistics regarding teen driving (check out the full piece here). As a reminder, the leading cause of death among teenage Americans is auto accidents. Teen drivers are three times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident than drivers over age 20. Approximately two-thirds of those accidents involve a male teen driver. The most likely timeframe for accidents to occur is within the first few months of driving.
Worth noting is how many deaths are preventable. According to a government study (courtesy of distraction.gov), a whopping 64% of teens ages 16 to 17 say they have been a passenger in a car when the driver is texting; and 48% of teens in that age range acknowledge having been a passenger in a car with a driver “who used a cell phone in a risky way.”
For National Teen Driving Safety Week, the Centers for Disease Control is launching an updated site called Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers with information on how parents can help teens avoid car accidents, including a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement. Also, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is promoting its “5 to Drive” rules for teen drivers:
- No cell phones while driving
- No extra passengers
- No speeding
- No alcohol
- No driving or riding without a seat belt
If you are a parent of a teen driver, this week is a great opportunity to help your teen remember how to stay safe on the road.