Take a second to think about this question….What do you think is the #1 killer of teenagers?
“One of the most dangerous years in a person’s life is the first 12 months after getting a driver’s license. Annually, there are about two million teens under the age of 18 in their first year of driving on U.S. roads, the National Safety Council (NSC) reports.”
Car crashes! And although all these should be done while driving the leading cause of crashes is not texting while driving, it’s not risk taking…it IS inexperience.
According to a new Allstate Foundation Survey taken in Arizona:
“Parents believe that risk-taking is the primary cause of crashes, when inexperience is the real issue. Only 24% of Arizona parents say a teen’s lack of driving experience is the top cause of crashes. The national average is 18%”
In Arizona, for example, must log in a minimum of 30 practice hours before they can obtain a drivier’s license. That simply is not enough! Required or not, the safest way for your new driver to continue learning skills is for you to ride with them as they practice, for a full year after they get their license.
I had the opportunity to attend the Drive It Home Show in Phoenix last week with some family and friends. The Drive It Home Show is giving parents a fun look at the serious subject of teen driving and stopping in 14 cities across the country. Presented by the world renowned Second City Communicaitons and safety experts we were able to learn what real hazards teens face on the road, how to better coack teen drivers and learn about state teen driving laws particular to our state. And can I say, this was a good slap in the face for me. Everyone can improve their driving and I may not have any teen drivers in my house now, but I associate with a lot of teen drivers and eventually I will have my own teen drivers living in my house. I have things I need to improve in my own driving skills and the show brought to light some lifesaving tips that I had not even thought about.
If you have a teen driver now, the Allstate Foundation and the National safety Council have launched Drive It Home for you. It is an interactive website designed by parents for parents that offers engaging videos, practice tips and other valuable resources, like parent teen driving agreements/contracts.
For example, here are few lifesaving tips from driveithome.org:
- Drive at least 30 minutes each week with a newly licensed teen.
- Practice specific skills together and provide teens with feedback in the following critical areas:
- Scanning the road ahead to recognize and respond to hazards.
- Controlling speed, stopping, turning and following distance.
- Judging the gap between vehicles in traffic – such as when exiting parking lots and making left-hand turns.
- Managing the highest driving risks, such as nighttime driving and with young passengers in the car.
“Research from The Allstate Foundation shows nearly half of parents express regret about not monitoring their teen driver after they get a license, and more than two-thirds wish they spent more time practicing driving with their teen in high-risk situations.”
While at the show I took a few notes: Drive the way you want your children to drive. A new driver should have at least 60 hours of practice before getting their license. Spend a lot of time practicing driving at night. No passengers for the first year. Do not let your children drive in a car with a new driver. And turn your phone off while driving…if I practice this now, my kiddos will know to do it when they start driving. I am their biggest teacher and I should drive the way I want them to drive.
Geesh! I didn’t think I could write so much about this. It really made an impact on my thinking. Just to hit it home here are some additional videos to check out.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.