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Educating The Public About Teen Driver Safety

Craig McClellan

Teenagers face a host of challenges in becoming safe drivers. The National Safety Council recently released a number of things for parents to be aware of concerning teen drivers and car accidents. The release is intended to help parents ensure that their teens are fully prepared to make sound decisions behind the wheel. The release came in anticipation of National Teen Driver Safety Week from October 20-26.

Among the important issues raised by the NSC were the following:

  • A teen passenger raises the risk of a fatal crash by a teen driver by 44 percent.
  • Two teen passengers doubles the risk of a fatal accident by a teen driver.
  • Car accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the U.S.
  • More than 50 percent of teens killed in car accidents were not wearing their seat belts.

Fatal crashes are most likely in the first year a teen has a license.

California graduated licensing laws restrict the passengers who can ride with drivers under the age of 18 in the first year they have their license. They not allowed to drive with passengers under the age of 20 in the vehicle, unless a licensed driver over the age of 25 is present.

The theme of this year's National Teen Driver Safety Week emphasizes the role played by parents in keeping teen drivers safe. Obtaining a license is not proof that a teen is ready to drive safely without any input from parents. The laws restricting who can ride with a teen driver and when the teen can drive are likewise insufficient to ensure safe conduct. Parents need to take an active role by demonstrating safe driving skills and demanding safe driving habits from their children.