Parents cited as vital to teenagers’ safe driving
The first annual Teen Driver Safety Week is underway, with a focus on keeping teens safe on the road.
Automobile crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. Teen Driver Safety Week, supported by Congress, is meant to encourage dialogue between teens and their parents about safe driving.
“When it comes to protecting teen drivers from serious crashes, concerned parents can make a critical difference,” said Sean Comey, spokesperson for AAA of Northern California.
The Automobile Club has come up with a list of 10 safety tips for parents of teen drivers.
They are: evaluate your teen’s driving readiness; be a responsible role model; eliminate distractions; restrict passengers and night driving; take advantage of extra training; choose the safest vehicle; practice; encourage teens to get enough sleep; establish a parent-teen driving agreement; and a weekly review and discussion.
The state also is establishing regulations to protect teen drivers. Starting July 1 of next year, California law will ban inexperienced teen drivers from using cell phones and other wireless communications devices while driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, almost 7,000 16- to 20-year-old drivers were involved in fatal crashes in the United States in 2006.
“Too often we hear about young lives being cut tragically short by vehicle crashes that could have been avoided,” said Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.), who has led the push to permanently make the third week in October Teen Driver Safety Week.
“This is a busy time of year for teenagers. I believe it appropriate we take the time now to help our young people adopt safe and responsible driving habits for life.”
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