National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 15-21, 2017

This year marks the tenth year of National Teen Driver Safety Week, which is October 15 - 21. In an effort to raise awareness of teen driver safety, below are some of this year’s topics encouraged to discuss with teen drivers to educate them on the responsibilities that come with driving.

Seat Belt Use in Teens

  • Studies show that seat belt usage is much lower in teens than adults. There were 531 passenger deaths in 2015 teen driver accidents. Of that number, 58% were not wearing seatbelts. Seatbelts save lives and should be worn every time you’re in a vehicle, no matter how short the trip will be.

Underage Drinking Prevention

  • Drinking and driving is one of the most talked about topics when educating drivers on responsibilities on the road. Even though minimum age drinking laws have been implemented in an effort to save lives and prevent disaster, many young people consumer alcohol anyway. In 2013, 29% of drivers killed in accidents between ages 5 and 20 had alcohol in their systems. And in 2015, almost 1 out of 5 teen drivers who were killed in an accident had consumed alcohol before driving. Alcohol impairs all drivers, regardless of your age. And many young people end up paying a high price due to not fully being aware of the consequences.

U Drive. U Text. U Pay.

  • Technology isn’t slowing down, and cell phones are a huge part of everyday life. That’s especially true with young people. Distracted driving crash numbers have continually risen over the years, and cell phones are a huge reason. In 2013, over 3,000 deaths and 420,000 injuries were attributed to distracted driving automobile accidents. 10% of drivers involved in 2015 fatal crashes were reported to be distracted behind the wheel. Distracted driving has become a problem on Georgia roadways, but young drivers could change that.

Getting a driver’s license is an exciting time in a teen’s life. Take time this week to focus on the responsibilities that come with operating a vehicle and help keep our roadways safe. For more information on National Teen Driver’s Safety Week, visit www.nhtsa.gov. There are statistics and study materials provided for parents to review with young drivers. Be smart, and drive safely.