Do you have a teen driver in the family? Statistics from the Alabama Child Death Review System show that car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths. Because teen drivers are involved in so many of these tragic accidents, the state is trying to find ways to address the problem.
What can be done to reduce teen driver fatalities?
Parents play a critical role in helping their children learn how to be safe drivers. Modeling good driving practices is one way to demonstrate the importance of safe driving.
Talking to your teen about safe driving is also important. You can help them understand the consequences of issues such as:
Drunk driving—Teens hear a lot about drinking and driving, but hearing it from you is especially important. It may be helpful to make sure they understand the physical dangers of drunk driving as well as the criminal consequences. Alabama has a zero tolerance law for people under age 21, which means just one drink can put a teen driver over the limit and cause them to lose their license.
Distracted driving—There are numerous distractions for teen drivers, including talking to passengers, eating, tuning the radio, using GPS systems and texting while driving. In addition to texting, using a smartphone to take photos, check social media and play games is very dangerous behavior.
Speeding—Speeding and reckless driving are factors that can increase the likelihood of an accident. You can also remind new drivers that they do not want to get tickets and accumulate points on their license.
Not wearing seatbelts—Relying on airbags is not enough to stay safe in an accident. Wearing a seatbelt is crucial to surviving an accident. In fact, it’s so important that it is a state law. Unfortunately, teens tend to use seatbelts less often than adult drivers.
You can find more facts and talking points here to help your child learn how to be a safe driver.