ITASCA, Ill., Oct. 20, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite the fact that teen motor vehicle deaths are on the decline in the U.S., they still remain the No. 1 cause of death for teens1. During National Teen Driver Safety Week, the National Safety Council is urging parents to stay involved in their teen's driving education so the number of deaths continues to decline.
In 2017, deaths for drivers ages 15 to 20 dropped to 1,830, down from 1,916 the year prior. The total number of vehicle occupant deaths for that age group also decreased – totaling 2,362 in 2017 – after three consecutive years of increases.
"Learning to drive is an exciting time in a teen's life, but it also comes with risk," said Lorraine M. Martin, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. "The younger a teen driver is, the more likely he or she is to get in a crash. During National Teen Driver Safety Week, we urge all parents with new drivers to remain involved in their driving education, so they develop the skills they need to stay safe on the road."
Teens represent 3.9% of licensed drivers but account for 9.3% of drivers in all crashes and 6.2% of drivers in fatal crashes. Data shows that the teen age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of a fatal crash2. In addition, a single young passenger can increase a teen driver's fatal crash risk by 44%3.
Parents can use National Teen Driver Safety Week – Oct. 20 through 26 – to get involved and stay involved:
- Set rules and expectations with your teen driver. A parent-teen agreement is ideal for outlining rules, privileges and consequences for both parties. NSC offers a free agreement – the New Driver Deal – at DriveitHOME.org
- Practice with your teen for at least 30 minutes each week, and make sure when you are driving that you follow the rules of the road. The safer you drive in front of your teen, the more likely he or she will be to adopt those safe habits.
- Make sure your teen knows – and avoids – the dangers of distraction. Let them know it's OK to put the phone away or disconnect from in-car infotainment systems and drive distraction-free.
Parents are encouraged to visit DriveitHOME.org, a free online resource from NSC, for more information about the best ways to protect their new teen driver behind the wheel.
In addition, NSC will host a live Twitter chat in recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week from 11 a.m. to noon CT Thursday, Oct. 24. Parents, teens and others interested in teen driver safety are encouraged to join the chat on the NSC Twitter page (@NSCSafety) and use the hashtag #NTDSW_19.
More information about teen driver safety can be found here.
About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (nsc.org) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to eliminate preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact.
1 Injury Facts - https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/road-users/teen-drivers
2 NHTSA - https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812700
3 AAA Foundation - https://aaafoundation.org/teen-driver-risk-relation-age-number-passengers
SOURCE National Safety Council