National Teen Driver Safety Week for 2017 is October 15-21, which means states across the nation are gearing up for awareness. The purpose of this week is to encourage parents to have conversations with their teen drivers about how to stay safe behind the wheel of a car.
This was started to decrease the number of teens dying and causing incidents on the roads through the greatest dangers for teen drivers: alcohol, seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and the number of passengers in the car. Here are four useful campaigns are available to help address these issues.
1. 5 to Drive
Materials provided in the “5 to Drive” campaign highlight five post-it notes that parents can leave on the dashboard of their child’s car or just use as a reminder to discuss these issues. The five notes are:
- No Cell Phones
- No Extra Passengers
- No Speeding
- No Alcohol
- Buckle Up
These resources are available to parents, caregivers, teachers, and any safety advocate. Infographics are provided as well as supplemental information for teaching effectively and showing the dangers each presents. For parents, this helps establish ground rules for allowing their teen access to the vehicle.
2. Teens and Seat Belt Use
The focus of this campaign is strictly to address the benefits of wearing a seatbelt. In 2013, more than half of 15-19-year-olds who were killed in crashes weren’t wearing a seat belt. This is more than just about the driver too. Unfortunately, 90% of younger passengers in the vehicle (ages 13-19) aren’t restrained if the driver is not.
3. U Drive- U Text- U Pay
Distracted driving is a danger to everyone on the road and the biggest distraction is the cellphone. Texting and driving can take your eyes off the road for five seconds at a time, which is enough time to travel the length of a football field when driving at high speeds.
This campaign is focused on more than just teen drivers and focuses on men and women. It provides materials from law enforcement and focuses on consequences of distracted driving, which is gaining recognition as a serious and deadly problem across the nation.
4. The Ultimate Party Foul
While drinking and driving is never safe, this campaign focuses on teaching 16 and 17-year-old drivers that underage drinking and driving is “the ultimate Party Foul”. Laws mandate a minimum drinking age to help save lives, but people often disregard them. In 2013, 29% of drivers killed under the age of 21 had alcohol in their systems. This campaign provides useful materials for communities, parents, and schools to encourage drivers of all ages not to drink and drive.
If you have not taken the time to talk to your teen driver about these common, serious problems, National Teen Driver Safety Week is a great time to find events and resources in your area. Not finding anything in your area? The Traffic Safety Marketing (TSM) government site has more resources available, including fact sheets and talking points, sample news releases, and downloadable infographics to help you.