The NHTSA’s 3-Step Approach to Teen Driving Safety

Underage DrinkersFor most parents, the idea of their teen getting behind the wheel of a car is a scary prospect. Not only do they have to learn the rules of the road, but they also need to be aware of the potential outcome of drinking and driving. Because the chance of teens being involved in motor vehicle accidents causing fatality and injury is so high,  the NHTSA teen driving safety plan has focused on three priority areas to prevent the likelihood of such accidents.

The first area of focus is Access to Alcohol. Although they are under the minimum drinking age, statistics show that as much as 31% of teen drivers involved fatal accidents were drinking. NHTSA’s plan is to provide direction to adults in order to better educate parents on the risks of purchasing alcohol for teens. For youth, they’ll distribute tamper-proof licenses and enforce under age drinking laws, as well as giving direction to alcohol vendors and put community programs in place.

Graduated Driver Licensing is the second area of focus for NHTSA, as inexperienced, teen drivers are involved in many more fatal crashes than experienced drivers. Graduated Driver Licensing will address this issue by reducing time behind the wheel for novice drivers.

It’s startling to consider that in the 16-24 age group category, as many as 80% of individuals stated they were not using seat belts on a regular basis. As well, 56% of teens involved in fatal car crashes were not buckled up. As the third step in the approach to teen safety while driving, NHTSA is focusing on improving seat belt use in teens.

With these core strategies in place, it’s hopeful that the road will be a safer place not only for teen drivers, but also for everyone behind the wheel.