National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 16-22

teen driver with his dad
Posted: October 16, 2022

Teen Driver Safety Week: What You Should Know

Motorvehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for U.S. teens from 15 to 18 years old. National Teen Driver Safety Week, which starts on October 16 and runs through the 22nd, is the perfect time to review safe driving habits with family members, including teen drivers.

Safe Driving Tips for Teenage Drivers 

So, how can you help your family members or other teen drivers make smart decisions when driving?  

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has compiled a list of driver safety tips in its “Fact Sheet/Talking Points,” which is geared towards teens. The fact sheet lays out some notable facts about teen driver fatalities, including that motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Nearly 2,300 people were killed in crashes involving a teen passenger vehicle driver, defined as drivers aged 15-18 years old.  

Some of the” biggest risks” outlined in the fact sheet, which should be widely circulated given the important information it contains, include: 

  • Impaired Driving – Almost 20% of teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes had alcohol in their system in 2020, according to the fact sheet. But impaired driving can also include impairment caused by other drugs, like marijuana, which can slow reaction time. Even prescription, or over-the-counter drugs, can potentially slow reaction time and lead to deadly consequences.  
  • Seat belts – In 2020, almost half of teen passenger vehicle drivers who died in crashes were not buckled with a seatbelt, according to the fact sheet. Even worse, when the teen driver involved in the fatal crash was unrestrained, nine out of ten of the passengers who died were also unbuckled.  
  • Distracted Driving – The fact sheet explains that distractions can be risky and deadly. Among teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes, 7% were distracted at the time of the crash. Examples of potential distractions include adjusting the radio, applying makeup, consuming food, or distractions caused by other vehicle passengers.  
  • Speeding – Nearly 33% of teen drivers of passenger vehicles in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash, according to the fact sheet. Males were overrepresented in this sample.  

Given these statistics, the fact sheet cautions teen drivers to remember the rules of the road. In particular, teen drivers are warned to avoid driving impaired, buckle up, keep eyes on the road, follow the posted speed limit, and limit passengers.  

 According to the CDC and AAA, parent-teen driving agreements – voluntary agreements that define acceptable driving behavior – may be a good way to encourage safe driving behavior on the roads. 

For example, the sample “parent-teen agreement” developed by the CDC contains promises that the teen driver will: 

  • Obey traffic laws. 
  • Stay focused on driving. 
  • Respect laws about drugs and alcohol.  
  • Be a responsible driver.   

If a young driver understands the reasons underlying the rule, and the consequences for breaking them, that may help young drivers understand the need to follow the rules, reinforcing safe driving habits. 

AAA has also suggested use of a “Family-to-Family” agreement, which can allow parents to work together to ensure teens gain driving experience in a safe environment. 

Injured in a Teen Driving Accident — Call  William Mattar

Sometimes, even when all precautions are taken, accidents happen. If you are looking for a reliable and experienced autoinjury attorney, contact William Mattar, P.C. You will want an attorney with the knowledge and experience to advocate for injured victims and guide them through the process. Call William Mattar, P.C., today. We’re here to help. Call us, at (844) 444-4444. 

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