Teen Driving Safety


Thank you to the Allstate Foundation and National Safety Council for sponsoring this post. Check out Drive it Home, a website by and for parents, dedicated to keeping our teen drivers safe.

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Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Drive it Home presentation here in Grand Rapids, this event was put on by Allstate Insurance, National Safety Council, and Drive It Home. The goal of this program is to help parents learn about teen driving safety and become aware of the real reasons (which are usually preventable) as to why teen crash rates are so high.

Did you know that the biggest safety risk to your teens is parked right outside their home? Yes that means that teens are more likely to get into a deadly car accident than any other threat! That statistic amazed me, I would have guess many other things but not car accidents as the #1 killer of teens. The sad thing is that most of these accidents could be prevented if parents just educate them selves on teen driving safety. Here are some shocking statistics on teen driving safety:

  • A parent should ride with their teen 1 time each week, even after they get their drivers license!
  • 1/2 of all students in school will be in a car accident before they graduate.
  • 350,000 teens have died in the last 3 years due to a car accident, most of which could have been prevented!
  • A teen’s risk of being in a car crash is highest in the first 12 months after getting their drivers license.
  • 50% of 16 year olds do not use seat belts.

Don’t just think that your children will choose to be safe on the roads you need to be a proactive parent. To do this you need to set rules for your teen and stick with them, and have your teen earn the freedom that comes along with driving. Don’t let your teen ride with others people in the car at all! The more people in the car with your teen driver drastically increases the chances they will be involved in a crash.

  • With just 1 other person in the car they are 50% more likely to crash.
  • With just 2 other people in the car teens are 250% more likely to crash.
  • With just 3 other people in the car teens are 300% more likely to crash.

During the Drive It Home Event we had the honors of listening to the head of the National Safety Coalition ~ Traffic Safety. He gave some great tips, and advice on teen driving safety. The biggest problem today with teen drivers is INEXPERIENCE! Here is the advice that he shared with us.

The top 3 reasons that teens are involved in crashes are:

  1. Failure to scan the road.
  2. Speed ~ Adjusting their speed due to the road conditions.
  3. Gap Perception ~Perceiving vehicles when making left hand turn or pulling out of parking lots.

Top recommendations on what you can do to give the best possible start for your teen driver.

  • PRACTICE!! 
  • Have them practice driving on the roads they will be traveling on regularly with parents.
  • NO cellphones at all ~
  • Teens need 50 hours of practice with parents before driving on their own and also 10 hours night time practice!
  • Talk to your teen while they are driving so you know what their next moves are helping them to make the best decisions possible.
  • Judge when you will let your teen get their license according to each individual teen , according to when you as a parent think they are ready and responsible to get their license not just when they are allowed by law.

Here are some Michigan related teen driving facts and statistics. All of the statistics are from an Allstate Foundation Survey from parents in Michigan.

  • 6 out of 10 parents in Michigan said if they had to do it all over they would have exposed their teen to higher-risk driving situations when teaching their teen to drive
  • More than 53% of Michigan teens wish their parents had spent more time teaching them to drive in demanding situations.
  • If had to do it all over again, half of all parents in Michigan agreed that they would have more closely monitor their teen’s driving immediately after getting their license.
  • Most parents do not set rules around the most dangerous behaviors on the road, including passengers and night time driving. Only 50% of Michigan teens said parents set rules on night restrictions, while only 38% say they have restrictions on the number of passengers.
  • Michigan teens must log a minimum of 50 hours of driving practice before they can get their driver’s license.

Teen Driving Safety Resources:

  1. The Allstate Foundation: Drive it Home: Has a page of facts and statistics Michigan parents need to know about teen drivers.
  2. Drive It Home has a video on How to teach your teen to be a Safe Driver.
  3. Drive It Home has a video on teen crash risks from Drive It Home.
  4. Drive It home has video on teens talking about their parent’s driving behaviors from Drive It Home.
  5. Drive It Home website offers many tips, resources, videos, and so much more!
  6. The Allstate Foundation offers tips on teen driving safety.
  7. The National Safety Council has lots of teen driving safety information for you to look at.

Here is a powerful video from the mother of a teen involved in a crash.

This was a wonderful and very informative event that we really enjoyed. I now feel so much more prepared for the journey of teen driving we will be facing soon! What experiences have you had with teen driving, and what teen driving safety tips do you have? Share in the comments below, I would love to hear from you!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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