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100 Deadliest Days
Memorial Day kicks off 100 deadliest days for teen drivers
Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition provides three tips for parents to help keep teens safe this summer
Tallahassee, Fla. – Teens across Florida are celebrating the end of the school year, high school graduations and the carefree summer months. But the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition warns parents not to stop monitoring their teens’ driving habits. Memorial Day marks the start of the 100 deadliest days on the roads for teens. From Memorial Day to Labor Day in 2012, 59 people were killed in Florida in crashes involving teen drivers, according to National Safety Council estimates based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. More than 1,000 people nationwide were killed in teen-related crashes during the same period. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.
“When it comes to safety, parents shouldn’t take the summer off,” said Danielle Branciforte, leader of the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition, an initiative of the National Safety Council and The Allstate Foundation. “Too many of these preventable crashes happen during months that should be fun and carefree. Making sure teens still driving safely – avoiding distractions such as passengers and cell phones, and coming home earlier instead of staying out late – will help ensure this time of the year is all it should be.”
Research from The Allstate Foundation shows parents are the No. 1 influence on their teens’ driving habits. Parents can help reduce their teens’ crash risk by understanding how to be effective driving coaches. Here are a few tips for parents:
• Drive at least 30 minutes each week with a newly licensed teen
• Practice specific skills together and provide teens with feedback in the following critical areas:
o Scanning the road ahead to recognize and respond to hazards
o Controlling speed, stopping, turning and following distance
o Managing the highest risks, such as night driving and with young passengers
• Sign up to receive weekly practice tips and suggestions via e-mail, and discuss and sign a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement – available in English and Spanish.
Parents are urged to review Florida’s Graduated Driver Licensing program, which outlines laws that are based on the significant risks of crashes for teens. However, state laws are minimum guidelines and do not represent the best practices for keeping teens safe. Establishing household driving guidelines – and the consequences for breaking them – with a parent-teen driving agreement is best. Parents can find additional resources and materials at DriveitHOME.org – an online resource developed by the National Safety Council to help parents keep their teen drivers safe.
Parents also can get involved in the Coalition, which NSC and The Allstate Foundation founded in 2010. Visit nsc.org/flteens-gdl4u for more information.
About the Teen Safe Driving Coalitions
The Teen Safe Driving Coalitions (nsc.org./teensafedriving) are supported by The Allstate Foundation and managed by the National Safety Council. The Coalitions seek to establish a culture of teen safe driving based on the principles of Graduated Driver Licensing. Coalitions are established in 10 states: California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas.