a father in a vehicle teaching his son about driver safetyThis month is the National Youth Traffic Safety Month and it’s one of the most important issues facing teens and parents today.

Chances are you’ve heard the stories, seen the statistics, or maybe firsthand witnessed a teen driving accident. That’s because car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in America. Teens are involved in 3 times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers. It’s reported that each year more than 5,000 teens are killed in car crashes. During 2006, a teen died in a traffic crash an average of every hour on weekends and every 2 hours during the week.
The statistics are frightening but don’t let them keep your teen in the house forever. Instead, make sure you talk to your teen about the importance of responsible driving. Here are 10 safe driving tips you can share with your teens:

  1. Buckle up! The car shouldn’t even start before everyone in it has their seat belt fastened.
  2. No alcohol or drugs. Explain the consequences of being caught with alcohol or drugs in their vehicle and that they are responsible for what is in the car, even if it is not theirs (this one might help your teen say no to their peers).
  3. No texting or talking on the cell phone while driving.
  4. Keep emotions out of the car. The teen years can often be very emotional. Driving upset or angry can put your teen in a dangerous situation as it leads to speeding and impaired judgment. It’s best to go out for a walk or a run if they need to cool off.
  5. Curfew: Think about heading home when it starts getting dusk out.
  6. Passengers: No more than one at a time.
  7. No speeding.
  8. Don’t drive while sleepy. Driving sleepy slows reaction time, impairs judgment, and is similar to driving drunk.
  9. Drive defensively.
  10. Pay attention.

With prom night, graduation, and summer vacation quickly approaching… keep your teens safe by sharing these facts with them.
For more information, please visit National Organizations For Youth Safety (NOYS)

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