ASK GARY: What Can We Do To Reduce Teen Car Accidents?
Graduation and prom season is a time of year when teen driving issues become particularly concerning. Unfortunately, car accidents are the number one cause of teen fatalities.
There are several behaviors that contribute to teen car accidents, including: speeding, drinking or drug use, and distracted driving – such as texting or talking on cell phones. A startling 46% of teens admit to texting while driving, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics.
How can we help? Here are a couple of ways parents and other adults can help prevent teen car accidents and fatalities:
- Be a Strong Role Model – Our actions truly speak louder than words. Teens will watch what type of drivers we are and what we do when we drive. Expecting them to do as we say, not as we do, just doesn’t work.
- Set Rules and Enforce Them – Clearly communicate and enforce your expectations for safe driving, including: wearing seat belts, no texting or cell phone use, etc. Establish curfews and make it very clear that they can not drive while impaired or get in a car with anyone who is. They should understand that driving is a privilege they earn when they demonstrate responsibility.
More information on teen driving statistics and how to promote safe driving can be found at the NHTSA website: http://www.nhtsa.gov/Teen-Drivers.
Let’s work together to make this summer a safe one for all the teens in our community!