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• Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers.
• 16-year-olds are three times more likely to die in a crash than the average driver.
• 3,467 drivers age 15-20 died in car crashes in 2005.
• 23% of teen drivers killed in 2005 were intoxicated.
Despite these statistics, you don’t have to live in fear every time your son or daughter gets behind the wheel. In fact, there are proven steps you can take to prepare your teen driver and help them take to the road in a safe manner.
1. Set a good example. Your teen is much more likely to be a calm and courteous driver, wear a seat belt, not talk on his or her cell phone, and obey the speed limit if he or she sees you doing the same.
2. Choose a safe vehicle. Your teen should be in a vehicle that will protect him or her if an accident happens, that doesn’t encourage risky driving, and that doesn’t have difficult handling characteristics that can lead to a rollover. That means no sports cars or older model SUVs.
3. Limit distractions. Distractions cause accidents. Period. So limit the number of friends your child is allowed to have in the car at a time. In addition, insist that he or she turns their cell phone off while driving. If the phone rings, there will be a temptation to “just see who’s calling or texting” — and taking their eyes off the road for a split second can have tragic results.
4. Establish ground rules. Create a driving contract with your teen that explains in detail the ground rules you’ve set (such as “no talking on your cell phone while driving”), as well as the consequences if those rules are not followed.
5. Withdraw your consent. If your teen is consistently exhibiting unsafe behavior behind the wheel, you can withdraw your consent for driving privileges in NYS as long as your child is under 18 and has a driver’s license with a Class designation that includes the letter “J.”
6. Enroll your teen in a Young Drivers Seminar. At Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc., we want to help you make sure your teen driver is safe. That’s why we offer a Young Drivers Seminar that educates teenage drivers about the rules of the road at a level they will understand — from the importance of defensive driving to the financial implications of poor driving.
*Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
This information is advisory in nature. No liability is assumed by reason of the information in this document.
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