Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death for teenagers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2007, over 4000 teens in the United States died as a result of injuries incurred from motor vehicle accidents.
How can you help prevent injuries and accidents with teenagers? As a parent, relative, friend, educator, or EMS professional, use these Everyday EMS Tips to help improve teen driver safety.
1. Talk to teenagers. Engage in a discussion about safe driving practices. While they may not be your own children, talking with and educating a teen driver can prevent them from driving recklessly.
2. Talk to parents. Encourage parents to talk to their teens about the rules of the road. The CDC has launched a campaign, The Parents are the Key, to assist parents in discussing driving habits with their teens and providing a driving contract for parents and their children.
3. Drive safely. Obey the rules of the road. Use your traffic signals. Drive at the posted speed limits. Be aware of drivers around you. Be a role model for teens that may be driving with or near you.
As a 16 year old new driver, I once let a friend hang out the sunroof while I sped down a busy street. I accidentally drove through a stop sign then heard tires screeching behind me. The driver who almost plowed into our car was able to stop without injury to anyone in their vehicle or ours. I was lucky. Unfortunately, over 4000 teenagers each year in the US are not as lucky.
Talk to teens. Talk to parents. Drive safely.
For more information on National Teen Driver Safety Week.