Six teens a day are killed in car crashes. We’re losing over 2,000 of our kids every year to car accidents – which are often preventable. As part of its Saving Lives, Protecting People program, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares recommendations on how to keep teens safer on the roads.
In its article Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers, the CDC encourages parents to use a “parent-teen driving agreement” to establish rules that will help their teen stay safe. Parents are also encouraged to educate their young drivers on the leading causes of teen crashes.
The CDC lists the following 8 Danger Zones:
- Driver Inexperience
The risk of being involved in a car accident is highest the first year a teen in licensed. Parents are encouraged to provide at least 30 to 50 hours of supervised driving practice over at least six months. In Nebraska, teenage drivers must complete 50 hours of supervised driving (10 hours must be completed at night) with a parent, guardian, or licensed driver who is at least 21 years old prior to receiving a provisions operator’s permit. Learn all about drivers’ permits in Nebraska here!
- Driving with Teen Passengers
The risk of an accident increases when a teen driver has other teens in the car. The CDC recommends limiting the number of teen passengers your teen can have to zero or one for at least the first six months that your teen in driving.
- Nighttime Driving
Fatal crashes are more likely to occur at night – this is true for all ages, but the risk is greater for teens. Nebraska’s rules on drivers’ permits require that teens drive complete 10 hours of night driving. The CDC recommends that parents require their teen to be off the road by 10 p.m. for the first six months of driving.
- Not Using Seat Belts
Buckling up is a simple way to prevent serious injury or death in the event of a car accident. In fact, wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying or being badly injured by almost 50%!
- Distracted Driving
Fatalities caused by distracted driving rose by 8.8% in 2015. And it’s our young drivers who are most prone to these types of accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), drivers ages 15 to 19 represent the largest proportion of drivers found to be distracted at the time of the accident.
Texting has become a major problem while driving. Nebraska law bans texting while driving, along with 45 other states. Encourage your teen to shut off their phones while they are driving. Consider installing an app on their phone that will block them from texting while driving. One such app designed for parents is called Cellcontrol. It comes with a device that goes under the dashboard and an accompanying app for download. It blocks your teen from sending or receiving texts while driving. It also includes features that can disable other phone features, like emailing or the use of the camera, while driving.
- Drowsy Driving
Drowsy driving causes thousands of crashes each year. Teens are most tired and at risk when driving in the early morning or late at night.
- Reckless Driving
Research shows that teens lack the experience and judgment to adequately assess risky situations. The CDC encourages parents to make sure their teen knows to avoid tailgating, slow down for inclement weather or unsafe road conditions, and to follow the speed limit.
- Impaired Driving
Teen drivers are 17 times more likely to die in a crash when they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% than when they have not been drinking. One in 10 teens in high school drinks and drives. It is critical to educate your teen on the dangers of drinking and driving.
Let’s work together to keep all of our teens safer on the roads! Please share these teen driving safety tips with your family and friends!
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