It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week.
Where do a lot of teens live? The Snoqualmie Valley. Sure they roll their eyes at you, but experts say to keep hammering home the stats. Keep reminding them of their statistical danger – dangers that come from being a teenage and a driver.
Did you know?
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 19- year olds in the United States. In fact, in 2014 there were 2,679 teen (15 to 19) passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes and an estimated 123,000 teens were injured.
In Washington State, crashes are also the leading cause of death, as well as serious injury, for teens. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, most of these crashes were caused by teens who were speeding, impaired by alcohol or drugs, or distracted.
According to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, 94% of all car crashes are caused by human choice or error. With teens often being some of the least experienced drivers on the road, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and USDOT is encouraging parents across the country to have important conversations with their new drivers.
This includes talking about the many dangers of driving. Do you know the five most deadly driving habits of teens? According to the NTHSA they are alcohol, lack of seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding and extra passengers.
So during this National Teen Driver Safety Week, the NHTSA is using its ‘5 to Drive Campaign’ to encourage safe driving habits for the country’s youngest drivers – and also encourages parents to model these habits.
Put down the cell phone. Parents, this includes you. No holding a phone and driving. No texting and driving. Teens should put the phone away while they are behind the wheel to avoid this common distraction. Note: Per Washington State law, drivers under 18 are prohibitrwd from using wireless devices while driving – even with a hands-free device. They can be used to report emergencies, though.
No Extra Passengers. Too many friends in the car distracts new drivers. In fact, Washington State law says during the first six months that a driver under 18 has their license , no passengers under 20 years old, except for immediate family members, are allowed to ride with that new driver. For the next six months, there can be no more than three passengers under 20 who aren’t immediate family members.
Stop Speeding. Going too fast can make it difficult to react to even simple situation when behind the wheel, especially for new drivers.
No Alcohol. Experts encourage having this important. often difficult talk. They say to consider letting your child know you will pick them up if they or anyone else has been drinking.
Buckle Up. Statistic still shows that seat belts save lives. I was learning to drive when the national Buckle Up campaign started. and remember riding my parents about it. It’s one of the simplest things you can do to protect yourself while inside a vehicle. On a personal note, I was in a head on collision when I was 7-years old. I watched a girl my age hit the windshield of the truck that slid on black ice into our lane. It isn’t something easily forgotten. Luckily we were only going 25-30mph.