More than 2,500 teens die in car crashes every year, according to Safe Kids Worldwide. What behaviors increase your teen’s risk for getting a car accident? Some of these might be obvious, but it’s important to remind your teen how to stay safe while driving or riding with their friends.
- Skipping seat belts. Nearly half of all teens who died weren’t wearing a seat belt.
- Texting while driving. We all know this a no-no, but many of us do it anyway. Remind your teen that sending or reading a text while driving takes your eyes off the road for an average of five seconds – if you’re going 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of a football field blindfolded. Be sure to set the right example for your kids, too, and don’t look at your phone while driving.
- Being afraid and not speaking up. Half of teen passengers report feeling unsafe riding with a driver. Coach your teen on how to speak up, when he doesn’t feel safe in a car.
- Too many passengers. Riding with two or more teens in a car can double the risk of a fatal car crash. Driving with more than three passengers increases the odds by 300 percent.
- Drinking and driving. Seventeen percent of teen drivers (ages 16-20) who were killed in car crashes had a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 percent or more.
- Driving while it’s dark. The risk of a fatal crash at night is three times higher for teens than adults.
- Speeding. One-third of teens who were killed in car accident were driving over the speed limit.
Source: Safe Kids Worldwide