Law enforcement, safety groups remind teens to stay safe behind the wheel

Aaron Brown
October 21, 2017

"What is really important is for parents to share their own safe driving stories with their teens and making sure the teens have a chance to practice their new skills", said Scott Clark, chief operating officer for Michelin North America and head of the company's passenger vehicle business. Parents can reduce the unsafe and sometimes deadly behaviors, such as alcohol consumption, driving without seat belts, speeding, carrying extra passengers, and driving distracted.

"Cell phone use continues to be a serious and often deadly distraction for all drivers, but it's a significant problem among young, inexperienced drivers", said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety.

Inexperience is one of the leading causes of teen collisions. Auto crashes remain the No. 1 killer of teens, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Distractions while driving are more than just risky-they can be deadly and are outlawed in 47 States, Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. In crashes involving teen drivers when the driver wasn't buckled, 84 percent of their passengers weren't, either.

There is more emphasis on parental involvement in the driver learning process.

It's Teen Driver Safety Week and AAA is supporting a new bill aimed at saving young lives on Ohio's roads. In 2015, among teen drivers involved in fatal crashes, 10 percent were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.

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The Goleta PD is aware of the importance of role models in a youth's development. "The handbook reinforces key defensive driving plays, such as how to manage tailgaters, drive safely near large trucks, keep a safe following distance and respond to changes in road conditions due to weather or other factors".

Making sure teen drivers stay safe is always a priority, not just during National Teen Driver Safety week.

"With traffic deaths in Virginia having dramatically spiked this year in comparison to 2016, this multi-state operation could not come at a more critical time", said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. All states have instituted stricter guidelines with varying degrees of severity for teen drivers since the 1990s.

Avoid Driving Tired. Teens are busier than ever - studying, extracurricular activities, part-time jobs, and spending time with friends are among the long list of things they do to fill their time.

"This week is dedicated to focusing attention on setting rules for your teen driver before allowing them to get behind the wheel", said CHP Acting Commissioner Warren Stanley.

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