October 18-24 is National Teen Driver Safety Week, but this year's theme is not teens; it's parents.
Two recent studies in the journal Pediatrics suggest that parental involvement and restrictions significantly reduce risky driving behavior during a driver’s first 12 to 18 months behind the wheel. So, it only makes sense to try and get teens to drive safer by getting their parents more involved.
Remember, parents control the car keys; parents need to set the rules of the road.
Need some motivation? Here are some compelling facts from 2007:
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens;
- More than one in three deaths for this age group involves a motor vehicle;
- More than 4,200 teens in the United States, aged 15–19, are killed in motor vehicle crashes;
- 11 teens, ages 16-19, die every day from motor vehicle injuries;
- 400,000 teens were treated in emergency departments for injuries suffered in motor-vehicle crashes; and
- Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash.
Look, it's simple. Teens are the least experienced drivers on the road. And, they tend to take on greater risk and underestimate dangerous situations.
So, parents, please, talk to your kids about the dangers of driving. It's not just good parenting, it's a matter of life and death.