You can help your teens become safe drivers by taking an active role in their learning to drive. Speed, peer pressure from other passengers and night driving—not alcohol or bad weather—are the biggest contributors to teenage car crashes. Training and supervision are essential to prevent these tragic accidents.
The National Safety Council recommends sitting down with your teen and agreeing on rules that will help reduce the chance that he/she will take chances behind the wheel, such as:
- Wear seat belts-every trip, every occupant, every time
- No speeding
- No alcohol or drugs
- Don't drive distracted
- Stay alert—teens frequently can't tell when they're too tired to drive
- Stay cool—no reckless driving
This short list, can save lives. Each year, more than 6,000 16-year olds die in traffic crashes, and two out of three weren't wearing seat belts.
Legacy's prevention experts say safety isn't something you negotiate with your children. "What they wear to school is something you can talk about," says Joanne Fairchild, coordinator of Legacy's Trauma Nurses Talk Tough program. "But you don't negotiate safety issues."
TNTT's Graduated Driver's Licensing Workshop
Teaching your teen to drive is a big responsibility. For help and support, attend a session of Trauma Nurses Talk Tough's free 3-hour GDL workshop. The session focuses on familiarizing youth and their parents with the graduated licensing law (GDL) and other traffic laws and how to use the laws effectively.