National Teen Driver Safety Week

National Teen Driver Safety Week

National Teen Driver Safety Week is commemorated in response to the increasing rate of road crashes involving teenagers.

Alarmed by this growing trend, the U.S. government declared the third week of October each year as a time for parents, teens, and educators to gather and push for teen safe driving education.

This is a week dedicated to raise awareness on safe teen driving, and what a good cause that is.  I'm shocked sometimes to see some of the careless actions of other drivers on the road (not just by teenagers, either!).

However, the sad truth is that the statistics show that car collisions top the reason for teen fatalities in the United States.

In 2007 alone, more than 4,000 teens were killed and almost 400,000 were badly injured as the result of road accidents.

To address this critical issue, the government requires the application of the Graduate Licensing System or GDL in three stages. This process demands that teens undergo longer and more intense training to test their driving skills.

The GLS system requires that a parent or guardian must be around to supervise the teen enrollee at the start of independent driving. This advance system has proven to have decreased the rate of traffic crashes by 20%-40%.

Safe driving for teenagers is the ultimate goal of the National Teen Driver Safety Week. Studies reveal that car accidents involving teens are caused by inexperience of the driving teenager; distractions while driving such as phone conversations or texting; over-speeding; and extreme physical fatigue.

Underage driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs are also becoming much too prevalent.

How should parents and authorities deal with this trend? Parents are encouraged to emphasize the importance of wearing seatbelts. Parents are also asked to observe their teens and supervise them when driving. This is especially important for those who have just learned how to drive. Licensed drivers must be present in the car.

Safe teen driving is a critical issue involving large communities of teenagers throughout the country. As such, teens are being educated about when and when not to drive under particular weather conditions. For first-time teenage drivers, driving at night is discouraged for the initial six months.

Teen drivers are restricted from using cellular phones while driving. Also, teens are advised to limit the number of passengers in the car for the initial six months. Lower speed limits are also required when driving on wet roads or during conditions of lesser visibility.

The National Teen Driver Safety Week has the goal of making each teenager a responsible driver. With interesting activities lined up for the week, teens are expected to embrace the importance of keeping themselves and others safe.

Although essentially focused on safe teen driving, the National Teen Driver Safety week also underscores the role that parents should take on. Supervising teens’ driving skills need not be a stressful activity for the parent and the teen. In fact, it is a good way to promote safe driving for teenagers that can also translate to parent-child bonding.

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