- By Jana Rhodes
- Posted October 19, 2014
National Teen Driver Safety Week
Shining the Spotlight on the Dangers Teen Drivers Face, and How You Can Help
The terrible truth – motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Every year, automobile accidents injure and kill hundreds of thousands of teenage drivers in the U.S. alone. The good news – we can do something about it.
This week, October 19 – 25, is National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW). National Teen Driver Safety Week was established to shine a light on these devastating statistics, and empower young people, their parents, schools, and communities to work together to promote better driver education and safer driving practices among teenagers.
A Few Facts on the Risks:
- Teen drivers are three times as likely to crash than adult drivers.
- Speeding is a factor in nearly half of fatal teen car accidents.
- The risk of a teen driver being involved in an accident increases when other teenage passengers are in the car. This risk increases by the number of teen passengers.
- Teens are more likely to get into a car accident during the first 12 months of receiving their license.
- Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use. More than half of teens killed in car accidents were not wearing seat belts.
- Teen drivers are more likely to be in an alcohol-involved crash than drivers in any other age group.
- Dialing a phone while driving increases your teen’s risk of crashing by six times, and texting while driving increases the risk by 23 times.
- A young driver’s crash risk does not drop significantly until after age 25.
- According to a recent government survey, only 25% of parents have serious talks with their kids about driving.
Participate in the “5 to Drive”
In 2013, The National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the U.S. Department of Transportation, launched the ‘5 to Drive’ campaign. ‘5 to Drive’ encourages parents to discuss one safety topic with their teenagers each day during National Teen Driver Safety Week:
- No cell phone use or texting while driving,
- No extra passengers,
- No speeding,
- No alcohol, and
- No driving or riding without a seat belt.
What Else Can You Do?
Plenty. Keep the conversation going well after National Teen Driving Safety Week has passed! Our children’s safety is a year-round priority.
- Promote the importance of adequate driver’s education and training.
- Make sure teenagers know the risks – and the grim statistics.
- Remind the teen drivers in your life that driving is a privilege that must be taken seriously.
- As a parent, set rules for driving and safe behaviors behind the wheel.
- Check in with teen drivers often. Ride with them periodically and assess their skills. Talk about safety. Remind them of the risks.
- Set good examples. Obey speed limits, don’t drive impaired, avoid answering or using phones or other electronic devices while driving, and focus on the road – always.
Remember, the majority of automobile accidents are preventable. At MOTOsafety, we are committed to improving driver safety, especially for our most vulnerable loved ones.
Keep following the MOTOsafety Blog for regular tips and information regarding teen drivers, road safety, and more.
National Teen Driver Safety Week was officially established by Congress in 2007. It is always recognized on the third week of October.
CDC – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
NHTSA – National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration
NSC – National Safety Council