Are your teens safe on the road? According to the NHTSA, 3,255 teen drivers between the ages of 15 and 19 were involved in fatal crashes in 2017. Remind your teens about safe driving best practices frequently – you just might prevent a crash and save a life.
Traffic deaths have gone up in recent years, and many people believe that distracted driving is at least partially to blame. According to the CDC, distracted driving kills 9 people and injures more than 1,000 people every day. Many of these individuals are teens. According to the NHTSA, distractions contributed to 229 teen traffic deaths in 2017. That’s 229 teen deaths that could have been prevented.
Drivers need to pay attention to the road. They shouldn’t use their smartphones, and they should avoid other distractions, such as changing the music, eating and looking for directions – all of which should be handled before they start driving.
Speeding contributes to approximately one in four traffic deaths. The NHTSA says speeding killed 9,717 people in 2017 alone.
Teens may feel like they have a need for speed, but what they really need to do is slow down. In addition to following the regular speed limits, they should slow down for bad weather and road conditions, construction work, school zones and other road hazards.
The NHTSA says that seat belts saved 14,955 lives in 2017. Seat belts are very effective – but only when people actually bother to buckle up. Talk to your teen about wearing a seat belt every time, regardless of where they’re sitting or how far they’re going. Also remind them to make sure their passengers are buckled up before starting the car.
Despite the legal drinking age being 21 in the U.S., the CDC says that 10 percent of high school teens admit to drinking and driving. When young drivers have a BAC of .08 percent, they are 17 times more likely to die in a car crash. Other drugs, including marijuana, can also increase the risk of a fatal crash.
Talk to your teen about these two rules:
- Always drive sober.
- Never get into the car when the driver is not sober.
Follow Graduated Driver License Laws
States have passed graduated driver license laws that place restrictions on new drivers. These restrictions often include nighttime curfews, a limitation on teen passengers and bans on phone use. The Governors Highway Safety Association has a state-by-state overview of these laws. Review the laws in your state and make sure your teen is following them.
Be a Good Role Model
This reminder is actually for the parents. You might think your teens ignore you, but don’t be so sure. You are a role model for your teens. What are your actions teaching them?
The CDC has a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that outlines expectations as well as the penalties for breaking the rules. Parents who sign it also agree to drive safely and act as good role models.
Last but not least, be sure that your teen is driving with comprehensive auto insurance. Contact BNC Insurance for an auto insurance review.