National Teen Driver Safety Week 2014

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is getting ready to publicize their annual safety campaign aimed at teen drivers. National Teen Driver Safety Week will be from October 19-25, 2014. Since car accidents are the leading cause of death for 14 to 18-year-olds in the U.S., this is one of the most important roadway safety topics facing drivers in California and across the country. Surprisingly, survey results show that only about 25 percent of parents have serious talks with their teens about safe driving practices, even though nearly half of all teen drivers involved in crashes die.

Talking to Teen Drivers

Don’t count on driver’s education classes to teach your children safe driving practices. They are likely to get the basics there, but not much more. Talking to the teen drivers in your family is an important and effective way to help improve their safety and the safety of others on the road. If you’re not sure where to start, the NHTSA offers a ton of great resources, including the “5 to Drive” rules, which are five critical topics to talk to your teen about before they get behind the wheel.

Five to Drive

No cell phones
• No extra passengers
• No speeding
• No alcohol
• Always Buckle up

Driver Inexperience

Even after months of supervised driving with a learner’s permit, there’s no getting around the inexperience of a teen driver. That’s why it’s so important that parents talk to their teens about the Five to Drive rules. They may seem like arbitrary, simple, seemingly obvious and sometimes overbearing rules, but they made the Five to Drive list, because the leading cause of death for teens is car accidents, and those five topics are often contributing factors.

Setting Rules Goes a Long Way

Driving a car is every teen’s dream. Getting the keys on a Friday night means freedom and independence. Speaking with and requiring teen drivers to adhere to the Five to Drive rules is a great way for teens to demonstrate and prove their responsibility for car-driving privileges. Making a contract for teen drivers is a great way to hold them accountable. The NHTSA offers fantastic tips for talking with teens, setting ground rules and writing a contract to hold teens accountable. Even just initiating the conversation with teen drivers can have a positive impact on roadway safety for California motorists and families across the state.

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