January is Teen Driving Awareness Month
When it comes to safety, the car can be one of the most dangerous aspects of being a kid. This is especially true when they become teens and start driving themselves. To this end, January is Teen Driving Awareness Month.
Teen Driving Awareness Month: Driving is Extremely Hazardous for Teens
According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating high school. Parental involvement doesn't end when a child gets a license. What’s more, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15-19 year olds in the United States. The CDC reports that, in 2014, 2,270 teens aged 16-19 were killed and 221,313 were treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to a car accident.
Driving safely may not be a conversation that most teens want to have, but it is absolutely necessary. There are some simple rules that must be discussed before a teen gets behind the wheel.
Here are some of the rules you will want to discuss:
Keep Practicing with Parents
Just because your teen has passed her driving test, doesn’t mean she has all the tools she needs for the road. Driving safety often comes down to experience. Knowing how to deal with a dangerous situation, such as a skid or other hazards, can save lives. Even after the test, teens that continue to practice driving with their parents are at far less risk of crashing.
As we said, experience goes a long way. Teen Driving Awareness Month encourages adults to provide guidance and structure for kids on the road instead of blindly trusting them.
Remember to Buckle Up
Teens may be well beyond the age of car safety seats, but safety belts are still necessary for us all. Not wearing a seatbelt can turn an accident from a minor fender bender to a genuine tragedy. Teens should be reminded each and every time they head to the car that they should buckle their seat belt. Besides being the law, it’s just a good idea.
Don’t Text and Drive
Using the phone while operating a vehicle can have deadly results. Teens should be reminded to leave the phone safely stowed away while behind the wheel. An overwhelming amount of teenage driving accidents are a result of “distracted” driving. Distractions like texting, tweeting or even chatting can cause a fatal accident.
Drinking and Driving
Now, teens shouldn’t be drinking anyway… but let’s imagine for a moment that teens don’t always do what they are told. As a parent, it is imperative that kids understand the terrible consequences of drunk, or even buzzed, driving. One incident can radically change or even end their life. Make sure your kids understand the risks. Teen Driving Awareness Month is a good time to reiterate these warnings.
Restrict the Number of Passengers
One of the biggest dangers kids face is becoming distracted by their friends. When a bunch of kids all pile into a single car, it can be a recipe for trouble. To help remedy this, for at least the first year they have their license, limit the number of passengers allowed in the car to one. It may not seem very fun, but it is significantly safer.