Help new teen drivers stay safe by talking about distracted driving

FHelp new teen drivers stay safe by talking about distracted drivingor a teen, there’s nothing as thrilling as receiving their driver’s license and being able to drive the family vehicle on their own for the first time. For a parent, the period of time when a teen begins to drive is a scary one – one where the need to instill appropriate driving behaviors is extremely important. Although most parents will discuss the perils of drinking and driving with their teens, parents can also help new teen drivers stay safe by talking about distracted driving.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of teen fatalities in North America. Over 2,000 teens were involved in fatal crashes in 2011, and of those teens, a staggering 45% were killed. As well, 270 people were killed in crashes specific to teen distracted drivers who were driving while talking, texting, or otherwise distracted from the road.

Education is the best way to protect new teen drivers from fatal crashes. Here are 5 things you can talk to new teen drivers about so they stay safe while they are behind the wheel:

  • Don’t use a cell phone while driving – Talking or texting while driving has been proven to cause crashes, so tell your teen to put the phone away while driving.
  • Don’t drink and drive – All States have a zero tolerance policy for teens consuming alcohol.
  • Don’t drive with extra passengers in the vehicle – Crash risks go up when there are more teens in the car. When your teen drives, they should drive alone.
  • Don’t speed while driving – Speed increases the likelihood of a crash, so educate your new teen driver on how to obey speed limits.
  • Always wear a seat belt – Seat belts save lives. Ask your teen to always buckle up.