In observance of National Teen Driver Safety Week, we’re breaking down the top 10 things many parents don’t know about teen driving.
6. Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight
Many parents think their teens are safe after dark as long as teens are off the road before it gets too late. Unfortunately, it doesn’t need to be very late for teens to be at risk. Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teens happen before midnight.
Nighttime driving presents a unique set of challenges for drivers of all ages. Visibility is poor and there is a higher likelihood of impaired or fatigued drivers. Also, late outings often are recreational. Teens who usually follow the rules may become easily distracted or take risks.
Most state laws allow teens to drive unsupervised after 9 p.m. despite the risks. Parents are encouraged to set household rules, which can be outlined in parent-teen agreements, that include restrictions on nighttime driving.
7. More than half of teens killed in crashes were not restrained by a seat belt
Seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent. Sadly, teens buckle up far less frequently than adults.In 2009, 56 percent of drivers ages 16 to 20 involved in fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts.
Want to know more about seat belt use? Visit driveithome.org.
Coming Thursday: Why federal and state teen driving laws simply aren’t enough.