National Teen Driver Safety Week spotlights the do’s and don’ts of safe driving

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 25, 2018

Safe Kids North Carolina

RALEIGH — In recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 21-27, North Carolina Insurance Commissioner  Mike Causey, chairman of Safe Kids NC, urges teenagers and their families to discuss smart strategies for staying safe behind the wheel.

Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for American teenagers.

Most crashes are the result of inexperienced teen drivers taking risks such as not using seat belts, texting while driving, driving with teen passengers, speeding, driving under the influence or driving in the dark.

“Every year, more than 2,000 teen drivers die in car crashes, most of which are caused by inexperience on the road,” said Causey. “Teen Driver Safety Week serves as an important reminder to parents to talk to their teens about the necessity of buckling up, not using their phone while driving and to make sure to follow the rules of the road.”

Safe Kids NC recommends the following safety tips for teen drivers:

• Talk to your teens about how to be safe while driving. Remind teens to follow traffic signals and laws, make eye contact with pedestrians, and enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.

• Make a formal agreement with your teen and enforce it. A 2016 research report by Safe Kids Worldwide showed that formal parent-teen agreements regarding driving restrictions help reduce risky driving, traffic violations and crashes.

• Let your actions speak as loud as your words. Kids are always watching, even when you think they’re not.  Set a good example when kids and teens are in the car. If you buckle up, they are more likely to buckle up. If you speed, most likely they will too.

• Ensure your new teen driver gets at least 50 hours of experience in a variety of driving conditions. Having more experience behind the wheel helps new drivers manage driving in the dark and driving with other teen passengers in the car — situations that increase the likelihood of crashes for young drivers.

• Take action against distraction. Teach teen drivers to put cellphones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until they reach their destination.

• Be alert around neighborhoods and schools. When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may unexpectedly step into the street.

• Watch out for pedestrians. Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways when making a turn to help spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.

To learn more safety tips, visit https://www.safekids.org/safetytips

Safe Kids Worldwide, with support from Chevrolet, released the results of their Teen Video Challenge.

Kaylyn Barbour, a teenager from Oklahoma, created the award-winning video in which she shares her story of how a simple choice to not wear her seat belt changed her life.  he tragic experience has compelled Kaylyn to speak out to teenagers about the risks of unsafe driving.  Watch Kaylyn’s Story.

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