June is National Safety Month, the perfect time to think about the safety of your loved ones and take action to protect them.
Car crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens, so keeping your teen safe behind the wheel will have a big impact on his or her overall safety. But taking action isn’t always easy. To help, we’ve gathered some simple tips you can use this month and all year long to keep your teen drivers safe. It only takes a few minutes to make a huge difference.
Try these tips:
1. Buckle up. Though 90 percent of front-seat occupants buckle up, almost half of all vehicle fatalities today are unbelted. If we increased seat belt use only a few percentage points, we could save thousands of lives. Tell your teen to always buckle up. Every ride, every seat.
2. Sign the New Driver Deal. In order to stay safe, your teen needs to know the rules of the road, including the rules you set together. Signing the New Driver Deal allows you and your teen to agree upon rules and expectations for driving, making it more likely that your teen will stick to them.
3. Set the example. You are the number one influence on your teen’s driving habits, so if you want your teen to be a safe driver, you need to be one yourself. Always set a good example behind the wheel, including driving without distractions or the effects of impairment or fatigue.
4. Be the chauffeur. Poor weather. Reduced visibility. Passengers. The time of day. All of these factors can increase your teen’s crash risk, but they don’t have to. Make sure your teen knows that if he or she is ever in a situation where they are not the ideal driver, they can call you for a ride. Whether it is too dark, too late at night or your teen has friends who need a ride, it is better for you to drive than to leave it to your teen.
5. Put the phone down. Cell phones can be a major distraction in the car, both handheld and hands-free. To keep your teen from being distracted, make it simple: no phone use while driving. Set music and GPS directions before starting to drive and pull over and park to make changes; no exceptions. The risks just aren’t worth it.
This National Safety Month, pledge to do everything you can to keep your teen safe on the roads. These simple tips are a great place to start and you can get even more driving and other free safety materials at the National Safety Month homepage.