Setting safety ground rules for teenage drivers - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Setting safety ground rules for teenage drivers

Source: Parents Central NHTSA Source: Parents Central NHTSA

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Do you know what is the leading cause of death for teenagers 15 to 19 years of age in the U.S.?

It’s motor vehicle accidents.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2,614 teen drivers were involved in fatal crashes in 2013, and 988 of them died in the crash.

The NHTSA urges parents to talk to their children often about traffic safety and even before they reach driving age.

As important as talking is, action is even better.

Parents should model good driving behavior; the NHTSA recommends turning off your cell phone and putting it away in the glove compartment before starting your vehicle.

Set ground rules when your teenager starts driving as well as consequences for not following the rules.

The NHTSA says these five rules should be a given:

  1. No cell phones - Talking and texting on cell phones reduces your reaction time and is dangerous.
  2. No extra passengers - The risk of a fatal accident increases in direct relation with the number of teenagers in the vehicle.
  3. No speeding - Speeding is unsafe and causes a driver to lose control of the vehicle easier.
  4. No alcohol - It is illegal for teens to purchase alcohol or possess it.
  5. Always buckle up – This is the best way to protect yourself and passengers.

Be sure you and your teenager are familiar with your state’s GDL (Graduated Driver Licensing) laws, all

of which include three stages: Learner’s Permit, Intermediate (Provisional) License and Full Licensure.

For information on state GDL laws, visit http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/bystate/index.html.

Lastly, the NHTSA mentions writing up a contract for you and your teen to sign. Remind your child that driving is a privilege and it can be revoked.

Parents for more information, visit http://www.safercar.gov/parents/index.htm

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