For Immediate Release: October 22, 2018

Contact: Ben Powell at 919-807-6008

Nat'l Teen Driver Safety Week spotlights the do's and don'ts of safe driving

RALEIGH -- In recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 21-27, 2018), Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids NC Chairman Mike Causey urges teens and their families to discuss smart strategies for staying safe behind the wheel.

Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for American teenagers.

Most of those crashes are the result of inexperienced teen drivers taking risks such as not using their seatbelt, texting, driving with teen passengers, speeding, driving under the influence or driving in the dark.

"Every year more than two thousand teen drivers die in car crashes, most of which are caused by inexperience on the road," said Commissioner Causey. "Teen Driver Safety Week serves as an important reminder to parents to talk to their teens about the necessity of buckling up, not using their phone while driving and to make sure to follow the rules of the road."

Safe Kids NC recommends the following safety tips for teen drivers:

  1. Talk to your teens about how to be safe while driving. Remind teens to follow traffic signals and laws, make eye contact with pedestrians, and enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  2. Make a formal agreement with your teen and enforce it. A 2016 research report by Safe Kids Worldwide showed that formal parent-teen agreements regarding driving restrictions help reduce risky driving, traffic violations and crashes.
  3. Let your actions speak as loud as your words. Kids are always watching, even when you think they're not. So set a good example when kids and teens are in the car. If you buckle up, they are more likely to buckle up. If you speed, most likely they will too.
  4. Ensure your new teen driver gets at least 50 hours of experience under a variety of driving conditions. Having more experience behind the wheel helps new drivers manage driving in the dark and driving with other teen passengers in the car -- situations that increase the likelihood of crashes for young drivers.
  5. Take action against distraction. Teach teen drivers to put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until they reach their final destination.
  6. Be alert around neighborhoods and schools. When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may unexpectedly step into the street.
  7. Watch out for pedestrians. Give pedestrians the right-of-way and look both ways when making a turn to help spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.

To learn more safety tips, visit: https://www.safekids.org/safetytips

In further recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Safe Kids Worldwide, with support from Chevrolet, released the results of their Teen Video Challenge. Kaylyn Barbour, a teen from Oklahoma, created the award-winning video in which she shares her story of how a simple choice to not wear her seat belt completely changed her life. The tragic experience has compelled Kaylyn to speak out to teens about the risks of unsafe driving behaviors. Watch Kaylyn's Story

Download infographic to review common risks and tips.

Download sample family agreement.

About Safe Kids North Carolina

Safe Kids North Carolina is dedicated to preventing childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in North Carolina. For more information, contact Safe Kids NC Director Shannon Bullock at 919.647.0081 or email to:shannon.bullock@ncdoi.gov.

--NC OSFM--