Nation focuses on teen driving safety

Posted October 21, 2017

Tragically, 22 of those 2017 traffic deaths in the Commonwealth have been teenagers between 15 and 19 years of age.* With this initiative being held during National Teen Driver Safety Week, it's important to highlight the fact that half of all teens will be involved in a auto crash before they graduate from high school. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) and National Safety Council (NSC) research, more United States teens are killed by vehicle crashes than anything else and they're three times more likely to be involved in a crash compared to a more experience driver.

The Nebraska Safety Council is encouraging parents to talk to their teen drivers about safe driving and to be a model of good driving behavior.

Trooper Crittenden said some of the causes in teen crashes include not using a seat belt, alcohol and drug use, and distracted driving. Almost half wish they'd learned more about how to change a tire (47 percent) or jump-start a battery (44 percent). Show you take driving seriously. Klauer led a naturalistic teenage driving study which discovered that novice teen drivers are involved in four times as many crash and near-crash events during the first 18 months of licensure. "Keeping a cool head on the road starts with a strategy and a plan - that's where Michelin's resources for coaching your teen driver can help", said Emmitt Smith.

Parents can help protect their teen drivers by talking with them about these risks. Roughly 60 percent of those fatal accidents involved a teen being distracted while behind the wheel; about a quarter involved teens who had been drinking. Despite not being legally allowed to buy alcohol, nearly one out of five teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, according to 2015 data from the NHTSA.

Beyond driver's education training, the program focuses on the issues and obstacles drivers face that cause crashes, including vehicle handling, hazard recognition, speed and space management, and distracted and impaired driving. The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in risky behaviors triples when driving with multiple passengers. In addition to these worries, getting a speeding ticket (42 percent) running out of gas (37 percent), and their own distracted driving (33 percent) are on teens minds when they get behind the wheel of a auto.

"The extraordinarily high teen crash rates are unacceptable and it is our core mission to save lives", says Charlie Klauer, a research scientist and the leader of the Teen Risk and Injury Prevention Group at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer teen drivers.