With school back in session, safe driving is a timely and essential topic to bring up with your teenager as they venture out on the road. It is critical for teens to be aware of safe driving practices and parents to set ground rules for safe driving. When setting expectations, parents can have their teen sign a driving contract to simplify the process.
Alcohol or drugs, speed and distracted driving are the most common causes of crashes for teen drivers, so discussing the true risks of driving is important.
According to TeenDriving.AAA.com, six out of 10 teen crashes involve distracted driving, which can be caused by passengers, eating and drinking or looking at a text message or notification on their phone.
Although cell phones can be a dangerous distraction, parents can also use apps that send automated replies in response to text messages for the teen driver or disable the phone while driving altogether. It is important to remember that even hands-free technology is distracting for new drivers.
In addition to distracted driving, driving at night poses a risk as well. With teen drivers three times more likely to crash at night than adult drivers, it is a good idea to restrict driving at night. Parents can help their teen by practicing driving at night in conditions such as fog, rain and snow.
Being a model for safe driving, by buckling up before every trip and avoiding things that divert your attention from the road, is the most effective way to teach your teen to do the same.
For tips on keeping your teen safe on the road, visit the following resources:
- New Hampshire Teen Driver Program
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Parents Are The Key to Safe Teen Drivers – CDC Injury Center
- New Hampshire Parent's Supervised Driving Program Booklet
For more information, please contact Angie.M.Raymond.Leduc@hitchcock.org.