Car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers, claiming the lives of 3,000 each year1. But you can play an important role in keeping your kids safer behind the wheel. State Farm® offers a variety of free tools and helpful resources, such as Road Trips® and Road Aware®, at its Teen Driver Safety Website.
In addition, use these ideas to start the conversation with your teen about risky driving behaviors:
Create a friendly competition. Download the State Farm® Driver FeedbackTM app to your smartphone, make sure the volume is off, the phone is placed where it will not distract the driver and let the driving fun—and education—begin. As you travel, the app measures driving behaviors, including acceleration, braking and cornering; traffic congestion; and the condition of the road. The app gives you a score for the trip, along with helpful suggestions on how to improve your driving on your next trip. Who will get the better score: you or your teen?
Sign an agreement. A teen who has completed a driver’s education course knows the basics but lacks experience and doesn’t necessarily understand the complexities of everyday driving. Set written guidelines that both you and your teen can refer to, and sign the agreement. Include goals for your teen, as well as penalties for violations. When each goal is achieved—such as remaining incident-free for six months after getting the license—offer positive feedback and increased driving privileges. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers this driving agreement as an example.
Be a good example. A teen will be quick to dismiss the driving rules you put in place if you don’t follow the rules yourself. Never talk on the phone or text while driving. Obey the speed limit and keep your emotions in check when you’re behind the wheel.
In 2007, with the encouragement and support of State Farm, Congress declared the third week of October National Teen Driver Safety Week. Get your family, your teen’s school and your community involved with educating young drivers about safe driving practices through Celebrate My Drive®. State Farm created this program to celebrate new drivers everywhere. Since 2012, thousands of agents have hosted events throughout National Teen Driver Safety Week, sharing positive safe driving practices to inspire teens to be better, safer drivers. Celebrate My Drive emphasizes the safe choices new drivers can make every time they sit behind the wheel. If we can reinforce habits, such as remembering to think 2N2™: 2 eyes on the road, 2 hands on the wheel, we’ll save lives together.
To learn more:
- Teen Drivers. Honest Talk. Real Solutions. A Handbook for Parents
- Celebrate My Drive
- Teen Driver Source
- Teen Driving Facts and Stats
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (Blueprint for Distracted Driving PDF pg3)
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