Cut Teen Crash Risks With These House Rules

A teen driver is most likely to crash in the first six months after receiving a license. That’s why it’s wise to increase driving privileges gradually.

Work with your teen to set clear rules for driving without adult supervision. Be sure to discuss how your teen can demonstrate experience and maturity to earn new privileges.  Let him or her know the consequences of not following the rules.

Fatalities and Facts:

  • Moto vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death among teens in the U.S.
  • The fatality rate for drivers age 16-19 is four times that of the drivers age 25-69 years.
  • The crash fatality rate is highest for 16-17 year olds within the first six months after getting their license – and remains high through age 24.
  • The top three predictors for fatality are non-use of seat belts, teen drivers, and roads with speed limits of 45 mph or higher.
  • Approximately two-thirds of teem passenger deaths (ages 13-19) occur when other teenagers are driving.

Set permanent driving safety rules:

  • Use seat belt on every trip – driver and all passengers.
  • Don’t use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving.
  • Follow all driving laws.
  • Don’t drive while impaired (drugged, drowsy, or drunk) or ride as a passenger with an impaired driver.
  • Don’t ride with an unlicensed or inexperienced teen driver.

Set limits to driving privileges:

  • No peer passengers
    • Start: Only adult passengers
    • Include siblings as passengers after six months of responsible driving.
  • No nighttime driving
    • Start: Only in daytime
    • Gradually increase driving curfew after practicing driving at night with your teen, obeying your State’s time requirement.
  • No high speed roads
    • Start: Only on low volume, low speed familiar roads.
    • Gradually add more difficult roads after practicing together.
  • No driving in bad weather
    • Start: Only in fair weather driving conditions.
    • Gradually allow driving in conditions such as light rain or snow after practicing with your teen.
  • Control the keys
    • Start: Make your teen ask for the keys.
    • Gradually increase amount teen can drive after first six months of driving responsibility.
  • Other tips
    • Pay attention. Keep the lines of communication open.  Know where they are going and why.
    • It’s about safety, not control. Make sure your teen understands that these rules come from love.
    • Lead by example.

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