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Thank you to the Allstate Foundation and National Safety Council for sponsoring this post. Check out Drive it Home, a website by and for parents, dedicated to keeping our teen drivers safe.

Last week The Captain and I had the great opportunity to attend the Drive It Home Event Sponsored by Allstate and the National Safety Council  in East Islip. The event shed some light on the dangers of teen driving through information and comedy skits performed by the famed Second City, and although I myself am far from having a teen driver in my own household, it really shared a ton of great information that I think many people who are in that situation would find useful. So I am here to share that with you. What I did learn is that my two year old son will NEVER become a teenager, and if he defies me and does become one, he will NEVER drive. Why? Because the statistics I learned were terrifying. But people today are lucky that there are organizations out there with the purpose of educating both parents and teenagers of all the risks. Knowledge is power…and educating your family and your teenager of all the risks could save lives.

Drive It Home, created by parents for parents, is specifically targeted at parents after their teen gets a driver’s license; that is one of the deadliest years in a person’s life. Drive it Home uses a variety of video and graphic styles, including  humor to capture the attention of parents, educate them on the real dangers facing their teens and help them provide ongoing coaching tips for recently licensed teen drivers. Did you know one of the most dangerous years in a teenagers life is 12 months after they get their drivers license?

Teen Driving Facts

  • Parents don’t understand the most deadly risks to their teen driver. Research shows that inexperience is the No. 1 cause of teen crashes, but 74 percent of parents inaccurately believe that risk-taking is the leading cause.
  • Despite the fact that nine in 10 parents say it’s very important for teens to learn to manage night driving and driving with passengers, one in three parents admit they have not adequately covered these items with their teen.
  •   Nearly 30 percent of parents are not setting rules around some of the most dangerous behaviors including nighttime driving and passengers in the car. Many parents also don’t require their teen to get permission before driving somewhere.
  •  Sixty-four percent of parents are actively looking for resources to help manage their teens’ driving experience.

Helpful Teen Driving Tips

Among the lifesaving recommendations and resources at driveithome.org:

  • 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:

1: Scanning the road ahead to recognize and respond to hazards.

2: Controlling speed, stopping, turning and following distance.

3: Judging the gap between vehicles in traffic – such as when exiting parking lots and making left-hand turns.

4: Managing the highest driving risks, such as nighttime driving and with young passengers in the car.

New York Teen Driving Statistics

These statistics are terrifying. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 323 fatalities in crashes involving at least one 15- to 19-year-old motor vehicle driver in New York from 2009-11. A total of 109 teen drivers (15-19), 68 teen passengers (15-19) and 26 other passengers in the teen’s vehicle and 120 others were killed in those crashes. After listening to the presentation, I learned that a big reason behind all the crashes is that parents don’t want to take the time to teach their children, and they don’t want to set boundaries or discuss the risks involved.

The bottom line is that driving is a skill, and to become good at it takes practice. That, my dear parents is where you come in. Take the time to drive with your child. In New York teens must log a minimum of 50 hours of driving practice, including 15 nighttime hours, before they can obtain a driver’s license. See that there?? MINIMUM! That means if you feel like your teen isn’t ready to go alone…DON’T LET THEM!

As part of Drive it Home, the Drive It Home Show is hitting the road, stopping in 14 cities across the country giving parents a fun look at the serious subject of teen driving. The show features the comedians of world renowned Second City Communications and safety experts as they help parents understand the real hazards teens face on the road, better coach teen drivers and learn about state teen driving laws. To see more about how you can attend one of the Drive It Home shows please check out the Drive It Home Locations.

 

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.