October 17-23 marks 2016 National Teen Driver Safety Week. Dedicated to raise awareness about safety and educate teens on safe driving behavior, this is an excellent opportunity for parents to emphasize the importance of driving responsibly. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for 14 to 18-year-olds in the U.S. and yet only 25% of parents have discussed driving safety tips with their children. For more information on how Cellcontrol's NTDSW special programming and discounts, click here.
To help encourage parents to have open communication about safety with their teens, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) identified the "5 to Drive". These are the 5 recommended rules by the NHTSA to enforce before letting your teen get behind the wheel:
No extra passengersThe number of passengers allowed in the car should be equal to the number of working seat belts in the car. Seat belts can save lives and work best when one person is buckled in. Your teen may be excited about becoming a new driver and eager to drive around as many friends as possible, but not only is taking extra passengers a safety issue, but is against the law.
No speedingDriving fast is dangerous to the driver, the passengers and is not worth arriving at the destination a few minutes earlier. Drivers risk their safety, their passengers safety, and also getting fined. Teaching your teen to leave a few minutes earlier, check traffic before heading out on a car trip, and to pay attention to speed limit signs should be discussed well before your child begins driving.
No alcoholIf your teen decides to drink, you can help prevent drunk driving by offering a safe ride home. Creating an agreement with your teen to provide a convenient transportation alternative if alcohol is ever involved while they are driving, should be part of the discussion with your child in light of Teen Driver Safety Week.
No driving or riding without a seatbelt
The NHTSA identified that 16 to 24-year-olds wear seat belts less often than any other age group. As one of the most effective ways to prevent injury or death during a car crash, wearing a seat belt should be second nature to your teen. If it's not, be sure to stress the importance of wearing a seat belt by buckling up yourself on every trip.
No cell phone use or texting while driving
The typical teen sends and receives over 3200 text messages per month but what's more alarming is that 20% of teens have admitted to having extended conversations over text while driving. In a recent study from State Farm, 80% of teens admitted to using their smartphone behind the wheel. As new drivers, teens may overestimate their ability to use their cell phone while driving and are at risk of getting in an accident. Fortunately, there are products on the market that help avert distracted driving among teens, specifically elimininating cell phone use behind the wheel.
While these 5 tips are important to include in your discussion with your teen, you can find a full list of topics here. Take some time to sit down with your teen to discuss safe driving tips during National Teen Driver Safety Week and visit NHTSA for more information!
Cellcontrol stops distracted driving and helps teen drivers develop safe driving habits. Keep your family safe behind the wheel. Get Cellcontrol today!