NEW YORK (WWTI) – National Teen Driver Safety Week is Sunday, October 15 through Saturday, October 21, National Road Safety Foundation reminds parents to talk to teen drivers about the importance of safety behind the wheel.

“Parents need to be proactive and start the conversation about safe driving during National Teen Driver Safety Week, — Keep the conversations going every day. Teaching teens safe driving behaviors is a shared responsibility, and we all have a part to play.”  

Michelle Anderson, director of operations at the National Road Safety Foundation

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens in the US. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show 2,608 people were killed in crashes involving a teen driver in 2021.

Surveys show that teens whose parents have discussions on safe driving behavior and set firm rules usually engage in less risky driving behaviors and are involved in fewer crashes. You should also encourage your teens and all family members to speak up if a vehicle is being driven unsafely, as it’s better safe than sorry.

The key issues that deserve parental discussion are as follows:

  1. Impaired Driving: In 2021, 19% of teen passenger vehicle drivers involved in fatal crashes had alcohol in their system, reminding teens that driving under the influence of any impairing substance — including alcohol, marijuana, many prescription drugs or over-the-counter medication — can have deadly consequences.
  2. Seat Belts: It’s such a simple way to be safe, yet too many teens aren’t buckling up. 51% of the teen drivers who died in crashes in 2021 were unbuckled, encourage your teens to be firm and confirm that everyone is buckled up.
  3. Distracted Driving: Among teen drivers involved in fatal crashes, 7% were reported as distracted at the time of the crash and it isn’t limited to cell phone use. Other passengers, audio and climate controls in the vehicle and eating or drinking while driving can be dangerous distractions for any driver. 
  4. Speed: Speeding is a critical issue for all drivers, but it’s especially deadly for teens with less experience. In 2021, almost 32% of all teen drivers of passenger vehicles involved in fatal crashes were speeding at the time of the crash, remind your teens to always drive within the speed limit.
  5. Passengers: Research shows the risk of a fatal crash dramatically increases in direct relation to the number of passengers in a vehicle.

For tips to talk to your teen visit The National Road Safety Foundation’s website. Detailed information and statistics on teen driving and outlines tips parents can use to address teen driver safety risks are available Here. View free programs and find more information on various road safety topics Here.