Nation focuses on teen driving safety

Law enforcement, safety groups remind teens to stay safe behind the wheel
Ford Driving Skills for Life gives teens on the road training
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21 October, 2017

Although there are other factors that deserve some of the credit for the impressive change, key among them that more teens are waiting a few years before getting their licenses, that shouldn't diminish the role IL played in being at the forefront of adapting a sensible approach to teen driving. "It is important that we equip them with the right knowledge and provide them with the rules that will ensure they stay safe on the road", said New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety Acting Director Gary Poedubicky.

"The extraordinarily high teen crash rates are unacceptable and it is our core mission to save lives", says Charlie Klauer, a research scientist and the leader of the Teen Risk and Injury Prevention Group at Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.

Drivers using in-vehicle technologies such as voice-based and touch-screen features were visually and mentally distracted for more than 40 seconds when programming navigation, sending a text message and other tasks, the study said.

The program also focused on distracted driving. In 2015, 4,308 teens were involved in fatal crashes compared to 7,500 in 2005.

Unlike in generations past, when getting a license essentially meant a 16-year-old could hit the road unrestricted, the graduated license system recognizes the driving process involves a learning curve that cannot be taught through books or in a classroom.

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Getting a driver's license is one of the first, and most lasting, rites of passage for teens. Klauer says that distracting activities performed while driving are often overlooked risks, and that we need to remain diligent as the impact of mobile devices used by young adults while driving continues to increase exponentially. Despite not being legally allowed to buy alcohol, nearly one out of five teen drivers involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, according to 2015 data from the NHTSA.

Improved safe-driving behaviors are particularly critical for America's youngest drivers.

The Goleta PD is aware of the importance of role models in a youth's development. Remind your teen to always drive within the speed limit. This is a risky habit that can lead to drowsy driving. The game plan includes key offensive and defensive driving plays that parents and teen drivers can practice together. Make sure they're following the rules all the time and you do that by opening up a dialogue and having a good conversation with them.

In observation of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Michelin is teaming up with NFL great Emmitt Smith to encourage much-needed dialogue between parents and their teen drivers.


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