Keep Your Teen Driver Safe With These Six Rules of the Road

Disclosure :: this post is sponsored by University Medical Center

Keep Your Teen Driver Safe With These Six Rules of the Road

teenage driverGetting a driver’s license is a very exciting milestone for a teenager. It’s a first taste of freedom and an important step toward adulthood and independence. However, handing the keys to the family car to a young driver can be overwhelming to a parent.

Teens are at higher risk for motor vehicle-related crashes. Tragically, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens 15 to 18 years old in the United States. Young drivers have less experience in navigating traffic hazards and are more likely to take risks on the road because of their emotions, stress, and peer pressure.

Parents should have conversations with their teens about the important rules they need to follow to stay safe behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.

University Medical Center’s Injury Prevention team is here to help keep your young driver safe.

Safe driving starts by making the pledge to follow these six rules of the road:

  1. Impaired driving is never an option.

Even a small amount of alcohol or drugs places you at risk for a crash or DWI. Impairment slows the functions of the brain which affects making good decisions behind the wheel.

  1. Buckle Up. Everyone. Every Trip. Every Time.

All occupants must wear a properly fastened seat belt in the front and rear seats. Crash forces affect occupants in every seating position. A properly worn seat belt keeps occupants in the correct position so that the multiple safety features of the vehicle can do its job.

  1. Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel. All the time.

Any activity other than driving, while driving, is a distraction. Distractions are one of the leading causes of crashes in teens. Remember, cell phones are not the only thing that can distract you while driving. Other passengers, adjusting audio and climate controls, and eating or drinking while driving can also distract.

  1. Stop speeding before it stops you.

Speeding is a critical issue for all drivers. Every time your speed doubles, your stopping distance quadruples. Speeds limits are set for ideal driving conditions. Slow down in rainy and foggy conditions.

  1. No more than one passenger at any time.

With each passenger the risk of crashing goes up. Passengers are distracting to inexperienced drivers.

  1. Avoid drowsy driving

Stay well rested. Drowsy driving affects everyone, but especially those under 25, who make up an estimated 50% or more of drowsy driving crashes.

Encourage your teen to develop a plan with you, a friend or relative as an alternative to an unsafe situation.

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About Patricia Clesi, BSN, RN

Trauma Services Coordinator, University Medical Center

Patricia Clesi has served for 14 years as Injury Prevention Coordinator for the Trauma Program in University Medical Center’s Level 1 Trauma Center. In this role, Patricia coordinates community outreach to prevent injuries in the community. Programs she works with include Sudden Impact, a safe driving program for teens and the Child Passenger Safety Program, which provides education and assistance in installing vehicle child safety seats. Patricia is also a Car Fit Technician, assisting the older population in becoming comfortable in their vehicles, so that they are driving safer on the roads.


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