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Be a role model during Global Youth Traffic Safety Month

Photo: ljubaphoto/iStockphoto

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data shows that licensed drivers ages 15-20 “have the highest involvement in fatal crashes” compared with all other age groups.

As NHTSA and the National Organizations for Youth Safety observe Global Youth Traffic Safety Month in May, experts are reminding parents of their status as role models for driving safely.

“From the time they are very young, our kids watch how we drive, and when it’s their time to drive, they often do what they’ve seen their parents do,” says the Dori Slosberg Foundation Inc., an advocacy organization for safe driving behaviors. “If they’ve grown up watching us speed, roll through stop signs and drive when using our phones, they are more likely to become dangerous drivers.”

Experts say parents should:

  • Get familiar with your state’s Graduated Driver Licensing laws and provisions as a teen progresses through the learner’s permit, intermediate license and full license stages.
  • Set ground rules that may include requiring seat belt use at all times, restricting night driving and passengers, and prohibiting driving while using a cellphone or other electronic devices.
  • Speak with teens about the dangers and deadliness of using drugs and alcohol when driving.
  • Speak with teens about avoiding speeding, which is related to more than a quarter of fatal crashes.

The National Safety Council is home to the Drive It Home initiative, a one-stop resource shop for parents of teen drivers. Find tips on helping teens become safe drivers, a new driver deal to sign and more. 

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