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Teenage Drivers
Teenage Drivers

Teenage driver with first car The number-one killer of teenagers is automobile crashes, accounting for more than 5,000 deaths every year.

The youngest drivers are most at risk. A 16-year-old driver is 42-percent more likely to be involved in an accident than a 17-year-old.

Teens don't need to be victims of their driving inexperience. Here are some ways to help decrease the chances of driving accidents and increase the chances of safe, accident-free driving by taking charge.

This information highlights examples of safety precautions you can consider to protect yourself, your family, and your property. This list is not meant to be all-encompassing. Moreover, a particular precaution may not be effective or appropriate in all circumstances. We encourage you to use your own good judgement about what's appropriate.


 Drive sober and always ride with a sober driver.

 Always wear your seat belt, even when your car is equipped with air bags or when you're traveling close to home. Insist that all passengers in your vehicle wear seat belts as well.

 Be familiar with the vehicle you're driving, and use safety devices such as sun visors, door locks, and the parking brake, when appropriate.

 Be a defensive driver. Be alert, and have a good attitude. Never tailgate.

 Focus on your driving. Avoid distractions such as loud music, talking on mobile phones, eating, or applying make-up while on the road.

 Limit the number of passengers riding in your car.

 Reduce stress by being courteous rather than competitive while driving.

 Follow traffic safety rules and drive at safe, legal speeds.


 Supervise your teen's driving time. Take time to let your teen practice behind the wheel while he or she has a permit and throughout the first year of licensed driving.

 Put a limit on the number of passengers allowed in the car. Teens are likely to have more trouble focusing on the road with additional passengers in the car.

 Limit your teen's driving during periods of increased risk. Friday and Saturday nights and early Saturday and Sunday mornings have the highest number of driving accidents.

 Establish a house curfew: a time when your teen must be home.

 Insist that your teen and any passengers wear seat belts.

 Set limits on the areas a teen can drive.

 Prohibit your teen from driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

 Encourage your teen to use good judgment both as a driver and as a passenger.

 Be a good role model.

 Support graduated licensing.

Graduated licensing
Graduated licensing is a conditional or intermediate license, awarded to teens, between a learner's permit and a regular adult license. By adopting a graduated licensing program, the country of New Zealand reduced teen driving deaths by nearly 33-percent.

Graduated licensing laws may require:

 Six months of crash-free, conviction-free driving.

 A zero tolerance for blood alcohol concentration.

 No driving between midnight and 6 a.m. without authorization.

 Provisional, color-coded driver's licenses.

 Successful completion of a driver education course.

Getting involved in teen driving safety and graduated licensing issues in your community is a great way to show you care.

Related links:
  Auto Safety
  Passenger Safety
  In Case of an Accident
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