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May 23, 2014

Does Your Teen Know Everything About Driving? Keep Talking!

IKnowEverything_ParentImage_2As part of its new “I Know Everything” Program, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR) is asking teen drivers “How much do you really know about safe driving?”

As the parent of a boy who is about to turn 21, I remember how it felt when he first started driving. I wanted him to be a safe driver, and had spent months preparing him for the day he would finally begin driving alone. During that time, I spent hours in the passenger seat sharing driving tips, and trying not to be nervous.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens: More than 300,000 teens are injured in crashes each year, and thousands more are killed. One-third of those crashes involve a teen driver who had been drinking and ten percent of 15- to 19-year-old drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.  Of teenage passenger deaths in 2009, 59% occurred in vehicles driven by another teen. 

These are frightening statistics. There are plenty more teen dirivng factoids in the infographic at the end of this article. But FAAR is aiming to improve them.

I_know_everything-teen_driving_safety-vehicle_crashThe “I Know Everything” campaign at FAAR encourages parents to keep talking to their teenage drivers. They get it, and so do I. As Anthony Wolf, PhD, National Advisory Board Member of the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR), explains, “A normal part of becoming an adolescent is that they want to feel independent. They don’t want to feel like a dependent little kid.” And they really don’t want to listen to their parents rattling on and on with what we think is useful advice. But that doesn’t mean you should stop talking.

Because you know what? Even if they act like they don’t want to hear it, they’re still listening. Set a good example, because even though they might not look like it, they’re still watching.

As part of Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, and in anticipation of the summer travel season, FAAR is encouraging parents to keep talking to their teenaged drivers. What to talk about? That they should not drink and drive. How distractions like friends in the car and texting significantly increase the risk of accidents while behind the wheel. Definitely talk about the dangers of speeding. Encourage them to wear their seatbelt. 

As parents, you are one of the most influential driving instructors for your teens, and based on years of experience, you know pretty much everything you need to about safe driving. Share what you know with your young drivers. Talk to them about safe driving.

Be a safe driver - your teen will notice! Here are ways to set a good example:

• Obey the speed limit.
• Wear a seat belt.
• Don’t talk or text on your phone while driving.
• Don’t drive drunk.
• Don’t drive when you’re too tired.

Find out more ways to help your teen become a better driver here at IKnowEverything.com

Keep these words of wisdom from Dr. Wolf: “Do not be disheartened. Keep the talks coming. Your words are in their head. You are more important than you think.” 

I_know_everything-teen_driving_safety_Infographic-2014_VER-2

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