The month of May is a time to ensure awareness in order to help make America’s roads safer over the summer for younger drivers. According to statistics, teen drivers are at a higher risk of injuries and death from car accidents than other age groups. In fact, as many as 2,042 deaths occurred in 2019 in car accidents that involved teen drivers according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Below is some information that can help keep your teen–and other youth–safer on the road.
Traffic Safety for Youth and Teens
Parents play a critical role when it comes to teens, who are at a higher risk for car accidents than other groups. If you or someone you know has a teen, safe driving tips before he or she starts driving on the road should be considered and discussed. Your advice and actions can prevent accidents and possibly save some lives. Some top safe driving tips for parents, as well as youth, include:
- Practice Your Own Safe Driving: Believe it or not, teenagers do watch their parents while driving and use their actions as a model for appropriate driving behavior. Should you want your youth to practice safe driving, you should practice safe driving yourself including always using turn signals, wearing a seat belt, driving sober, stopping on red, staying within the speed limit, and not being distracted while driving.
- Speak with Your Teen About Safe Driving: Beyond modeling safe driving, be sure to speak with your young driver about how to be safe behind the wheel. Be sure to openly communicate regarding options in dangerous or unsafe conditions as well as the dangers of speeding, drugs, alcohol, not wearing a seatbelt, and distracted driving.
- Choose a Safety Rated Vehicle: Your child’s vehicle can play a significant role in protecting him or her while on the road, in addition to their driving experience and education. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports issue studies that rate the safety, affordability, and reliability of vehicles. Use these resources to help choose a vehicle for your teen.
- Follow State Licensing Requirements: Nevada’s state graduated licensing program was created to reduce the risks involved with teen driving. In addition to drivers ed courses, you should make sure your teen gets the experience and education needed to make good and safe choices behind the wheel.
Top Driving Tips for Teens
Teen drivers play a critical role in their own safety and the safety of others while on the road. All younger drivers should take heed of the following tips below when getting behind the wheel:
- Always Use a Seatbelt: Perhaps the single best thing you can do to protect yourself when involved in a car accident is to always wear a safety belt.
- Practice safe driving: The more you practice driving, the better you will be at this task–just like any other activity. Making safe driving a regular habit as a teenager will help you become a safe driver as an adult.
- Always Drive Sober: It is not just dangerous to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol, but it is also illegal. The leading cause of car accidents, injuries, and deaths is impaired driving. In addition to driving sober, never get into a car with a driver who is impaired.