Back to Basics – How to Keep Your Teen Drivers Safe

Back to Basics – How to Keep Your Teen Drivers Safe
If you’re like most parents with a teen about to begin driving, or who has been driving for a short time, you’re probably concerned about safety. And with good reason. New teen drivers are involved in four times more crashes than any other age group. Twice as many as 85-year old drivers. It doesn’t matter if they’re straight “A” students, if they’re model kids. Inexperience and youth mixed with an automobile can make for sad stories.

Here are three simple steps you can take to keep your child safe.

1. Complete a parent-teen driving agreement. Research shows that families who put driving rules in writing have fewer crashes than those who just “talk about” driving rules. Get your free copy of the Safe Teen Driving Pledge, or visit your insurance company’s web site to get their version. It’s not important which agreement you use. But it is important that you use one!

2. Take a defensive driving course. Driver’s ed is great for learning rules of the road and passing the driver’s test. But it doesn’t prepare teens to drive defensively. The teenSMART® program gives parents an easy to follow in-car training program that takes the pain and challenges out of teaching your teen to drive defensively. Teens who certify under the teenSMART® program have seen crash reductions between 30 and 71 percent compared to same-age teens who did not take the course. Plus, you may qualify for substantial discounts on your auto insurance. Can you afford eight to 10 hours of time with your teen to keep him safe? Can you not?

3. Watch over your teen. When your child was small you watched over her, set rules and kept her safe. Research shows that monitoring your child’s activities is an important way to lower her chances of getting involved in situations you don’t approve of, especially those that can be harmful. Unsupervised children simply have more opportunities to experiment with risky behaviors – it’s that simple.  Now when your child reaches driving age and takes to the road, you can still watch over her using a driving monitor. Just like a report card tells you how she’s doing in school, driving monitors give you real-world information on what your teen might be doing to endanger herself – so you can take steps to improve her safety. Use GPS as a teaching tool!  Learn more here. Not sure about using GPS? Read this message from one of our parenting experts. When I Monitor My Teen’s Driving…Am I Spying?


Distracted Driving Is Not Just Texting

State Farm’s recent research shows that drivers are accessing mobile web services at much higher rates than just texting. These distracted driving behaviors may be more problematic than texting. In fact, the study showed that texting while driving was flat or decreasing in some instances. For drivers 18-29, 71 percent said they engaged in texting while driving in 2009. That number dropped to 64 percent in 2011.

The survey of nearly 900 motorists found that use of mobile web services has increased dramatically over the last two years.

For drivers 18-29:

  • Accessing the internet while on a cell phone while driving increased from 29 percent in 2009 to 43 percent in 2011.
  • Reading social media networks while driving increased from 21 percent in 2009 to 37 percent in 2011.
  • Updating social networks while driving increased from 20 percent in 2009 to 33 percent in 2011.

And it’s not just young drivers! David Beigie, State Farm Public Affairs Vice President, said “…while the focus has been on young people, the data also indicates that motorists of all ages are increasing their use of the mobile web while driving.”

For all drivers, the data showed that accessing the internet while on a cell phone increased from 13 percent in 2009 to 18 percent in 2011.

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Is Your Company Engaged?

Our “Crash Free America” Program: Communicating Teen Driving Safety Issues at Your Company

Our Crash Free America is a communications program for your employees designed to keep driving safety top of mind. Not only are driving crashes the #1 cause of teenage injury and fatality, your adult employees will learn and be reminded of driving safety issues for themselves.

The Crash Free America program can also have a bottom-line impact on your company.

  • Avoiding premium increases.
  • Keeping your employees at work, focused and productive.
  • Protecting the well-being of your employees’ families and children.
  • Retaining and motivating employees.
  • Building your brand by showing the public that you are taking positive, proactive steps to help your employees.
  • Provide cost savings to your employees on the products and services that can help them keep their children safe and alive.

“Two- thirds of U.S. workers who call in sick are dealing with family or personal issues, not illness,”according to the most recent Unscheduled Absence Survey of 3 1 7 HR executives, conducted for CCH

Our Goal: To help save lives of young people. We know that driving fatalities strike families without regard to demographics. We also know that parents are often unaware of the specific risk factors they need to manage to avoid tragic driving consequences. The parenting information and guidance provided through the program is designed to inform and educate parents, while providing them with services proven to reduce the likelihood of teen crashes.

How to Participate: Implementing this plan can be as simple as including an article in your next employee newsletter or posting the information on your company’s intranet site. More information: e-mail us at or call us at: 678-820-8630.

What’s Happening In Your Part of the Country

It’s against the law to text while driving in 35 states, but not in Alabama. Across Alabama, 21 cities — including Birmingham, Florence, Decatur and Huntsville — have banned driving while texting, but not Tuscaloosa.
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Federal safety officials want states to ban all cellphone use behind the wheel, especially texting. Nebraska officials see no need to change state law. Gov. Dave Heineman regards the issue as serious, stating the Nebraska doesn’t want distracted drivers on its roads. “So, again, to me it’s about individual responsibility and common sense,” Heineman says. “We don’t need big government telling us what to do in every aspect of our lives.”

Nebraska prohibits driving and texting, but it’s a secondary offense. You have to be pulled over for a primary offense before you can be charged.

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This summer, Chengary’s boss did the unthinkable: He banned employees at Des Plaines-based Wheels Inc. from phoning, texting or emailing while driving during the work day.

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Despite a recent push by federal safety regulators to prohibit the use of cellphones while driving, there appears to be little chance of Wisconsin adopting such a law — at least for the foreseeable future.State Rep. Dean Kaufert, R-Neenah, who said he uses a hands-free cellphone while driving, doubts the state Legislature will entertain a ban on cellphone use by drivers anytime soon.

Read more:|topnews|text|APC-News

South Carolina
A bill being proposed in the Statehouse next month would ban texting while driving in school zones. Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-Kershaw) is sponsoring the bill, which would prohibit texting once a school zone’s warning lights have been turned on.

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FAIRVIEW PARK Put down those handheld devices while you are behind the wheel and get to the business of driving safely. That is the message coming across loud and clear in a new ordinance passed Dec. 19 that makes it illegal to compose, send or read text messages or emails while driving in the city.

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About Safe Teen Driving Club

The Safe Teen Driving Club is a community of concerned parents, teens and professionals, and a resource for protecting teenage drivers and their families. We are working with parents, schools, educators, businesses, non-profits and public policy makers to create a safer driving environment for teens, while giving parents the tools and services they need to significantly affect and improve their teen’s driving behavior. We want to help you keep them safe!

See these help areas of our web site: Parent Learning Center and our Safety Store.

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