New Jeans, New Shoes, New Tires?

Aug 14, 2012, 00:01 ET from National Organizations for Youth Safety

Families spend over $600 on back to school supplies, but how much do they spend on their teen's driver safety?

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new school year is an exciting time for teens. It means new clothes, new school supplies, a new schedule of classes; it's a great new start! Families do their best to outfit their youth with the best, but few consider the safety of travel to and from school. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 5,000 teens (ages 16-20) are killed each year in passenger vehicle crashes. National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) encourages families to include car, route, and travel safety in back to school readiness.

"Parents are involved in so much of their teen's lives, everything from grades, to sports, to who they are hanging out with," says Sandy Spavone, NOYS executive director, "but what they don't know is that they have the opportunity to get involved and positively influence one of the most important and dangerous activities a teen will experience: driving."

"Just like an aviation checklist that a pilot reviews before taking off, parents should consider developing a traffic safety checklist for their teen drivers," recommends Debbie Hersman, Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.  "We want our teens to strive for excellence in school. That takes preparation. Making sure they get to and from school safely also requires preparation."    

Parents and teens must work together to prevent teen crashes and encourage back to school driver/travel safety. Many new teen drivers are driving to school for the first time and it's possible that normal routes to school have been under construction during the summer months, so extra caution is needed during this back to school season. NOYS encourages parents to take steps to discuss and prepare for the safest route to school.

Items to check on your teen's car:

  • Tire tread
  • Tire pressure
  • Windshield wiper and fluid
  • Brakes
  • Travel route for safety

Items to discuss with your teen:

  • No phone use while driving
  • Seatbelt use
  • Speed limits
  • Passenger limits

The newest clothes and greatest electronics are fantastic, but nothing is more important than getting to and from school safely. Make sure back to school planning includes back to school driver safety. NOYS is launching a Back2School Toolkit to help parents prepare for back to school safety at UnderYOURInfluence, a program for parents of teen drivers sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

About National Organizations for Youth Safety
National Organizations for Youth Safety® (NOYS) is a coalition of national organizations and federal agencies who serve youth and focus on youth safety and health. Through this coalition, NOYS influences more than 80 million young people and their adult advisors.  The mission of NOYS is to promote youth empowerment and leadership, and build partnerships that save lives, prevent injuries, and enhance safe and healthy lifestyles among all youth.

CONTACT: Sandy Spavone
(703) 981-0264 or

SOURCE National Organizations for Youth Safety