National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 21 – 27, 2018
Inexperience is one of the leading causes of teen driving accidents, pointing to a need for greater parent and school involvement and continuing driving education.
Nearly half of all teen drivers will experience a car crash before graduating from high school. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) cites two main reasons for this trend. First, parents are becoming less involved in training teen drivers once they receive their licenses. NHTSA also found parents are not regularly reinforcing teen driving safety measures.
A recent report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) notes there has been progress over the last ten years to curb teen crashes, but beginning drivers are still 1.6 times more likely to be involved in a car accident than adults.
Illinois has made important strides to improve teen driver safety. Among these measures are laws banning the hand-held use of mobile devices while driving and a Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) system that gives beginning drivers more supervised time behind the wheel before graduating to full licensure. As a result, teen driving fatality crashes have decreased by sixty percent in Illinois since 2008.
The Illinois Insurance Association, a property casualty trade association, and its members companies recognize that while progress has been made, more needs to be done to protect teen drivers and their passengers. In the month of October and throughout the year, IIA encourages Illinois residents to embrace safe driving initiatives for teens. Encourage young motorists to adopt safe driving practices such as no drinking and driving, no distracted driving, no extra passengers, no speeding and consistent seatbelt use. These behaviors are statistically linked to teen driver crashes. The NHTSA’s website (nhtsa.gov) is a great resource for teen driver safety tips and statistics. In addition, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have created a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement to promote safer outcomes.
Teen driver safety is everyone’s responsibility. Parents, schools, the insurance industry, all branches of government, and other stakeholders should work collaboratively to promote initiatives, rules and policies that will protect young drivers’ lives in Illinois and across the country.
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