Help your teen become a better driver

May 23, 2014

erin_doan_agency 031514Good Neighbor Tips. A blog by Erin Doan State Farm Insurance Agency.

When it comes to teen driving, parents play a key role in improving safety. That’s the idea behind the “5 to Drive” initiative — a campaign from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that encourages parents to start conversations about safe driving by:

  • Discussing five critical driving practices with teens
  • Reinforcing those habits as teens get comfortable behind the wheel
  • Setting an example by being good role models

Establish an open dialogue with your teen driver today by discussing the safety topics outlined by “5 to Drive”:

  1. Talking and Texting
    The numbers say it all: Dialing a phone while driving increases your risk of crashing by three times; texting while driving increases it by 2 times. For more proof, visit distraction.gov to read stats and stories of those affected.
  2. Extra Passengers 
    Cell phones aren’t the only behind-the-wheel distraction — friends can unknowingly do more harm than good. According to NHTSA, teen drivers are three times more likely to engage in risky behaviors while riding with multiple passengers. If applicable, share your state’s graduated driver licensing program passenger restrictions with your teen. And don’t be afraid to enforce your own rules regarding extra riders.
  3. Speeding
    Speeding has pricey consequences, from a ticket to a crash. In fact, speeding was a factor in 35 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers in 2011, according to the NHTSA.
  4. Drinking and Driving
    Teens are more likely to die in an alcohol-related crash than anyone else. Talk with new drivers about the consequences, review stories of teens impacted by drunk driving and remind them never to ride with someone who has been drinking.
  5. Wearing a Seat Belt
    Clicking your seat belt takes a matter of seconds, and it’s your best defense in an accident — not to mention it’s the law. Yet, around 53 percent of teen drivers killed in car accidents are not wearing one.

Learn more about safe teen driving by visiting the State Farm® Teen Driver Safety website.

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