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Top Tips to Keep Teens Safe Behind the Wheel

October 22, 2018 by Brian Wudkwych

Greenville, N.C. — In recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 21-27, 2018), Safe Kids Pitt County urges teens and their families to discuss smart strategies for staying safe behind the wheel. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for American teens and are most often the result of inexperienced teen drivers taking risks like not buckling up, texting, driving with teen passengers, speeding, driving under the influence or driving in the dark.

“Every year more than 2,000 teen drivers are involved fatal motor vehicle crashes, most of which are caused by inexperience on the road,” said Injury Prevention Program Coordinator at the Eastern Carolina Injury Prevention Program at Vidant Medical Center Ellen Walston, who also serves as the coalition coordinator of Safe Kids Pitt County. “Time and again we hear stories about teens whose inexperience, when combined with unnecessary risk-taking, like not wearing a seat belt, results in tragedy. Teen Driver Safety Week should serve as an important reminder to parents to talk to their teens about the necessity of buckling up and keeping the phone down on every ride, and to make sure you are following the rules, too.”

Safe Kids Pitt County recommends the following top driving safety tips for teen drivers.

  1. Talk to your teens about how to be safe while driving. Remind teens to follow traffic signals and laws, make eye contact with pedestrians, and enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
     
  2. Make a formal agreement with your teen and enforce it. A 2016 research report by Safe Kids Worldwide showed that formal parent-teen agreements regarding driving restrictions help reduce risky driving, traffic violations and crashes.
     
  3. Let your actions speak as loud as your words. Kids are always watching, even when you think they’re not. So set a good example when kids and teens are in the car. If you buckle up, they are more likely to buckle up and if you speed, they will speed.
     
  4. Ensure your new teen driver gets at least 72 hours of experience under a variety of driving conditions. Having more experience behind the wheel helps new drivers manage driving in the dark and driving with other teen passengers in the car, situations that can increase the likelihood of crashes for young drivers.
     
  5. Take action against distraction. Teach teen drivers to put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until their final destination.
     
  6. Be alert around neighborhoods and schools. When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly.
     
  7. Watch out for pedestrians. Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways when making a turn to help spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.

In further recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Safe Kids Worldwide, with support from Chevrolet, released the results of their Teen Video Challenge. Kaylyn Barbour, a teen from Oklahoma, created the award-winning video in which she shares her story of how one choice to not wear her seat belt changed her life completely. The tragic experience has compelled Kaylyn to speak out to teens about the risks of unsafe driving behaviors.

Watch Kaylyn’s Story

To learn more safety tips, visit: https://www.safekids.org/safetytips

 

Media contact: Brian Wudkwych, 252-214-0782 or brian.wudkwych@vidanthealth.com

 

 

About The Safe Kids Buckle Up Program
The Safe Kids Buckle Up program is a national initiative established 19 years ago by Safe Kids Worldwide and GM to keep children, teens and families safe in and around cars. GM’s long-term commitment to educating families has helped the child safety program evolve into one of the most comprehensive in the nation, and covers children from birth to the time they become drivers.

About Safe Kids Pitt County
Safe Kids Pitt County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. The Coalition is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Pitt County was founded in 1996 and is led by Vidant Medical Center. For more information, visit safekids.org or facebook.com/SafeKidsPittCounty.

About Vidant Health
Vidant Health is a mission-driven, 1,512-bed health system that annually serves more than 1.4 million people in 29 eastern North Carolina counties. The not-for-profit system is made up of more than 12,500 employees, eight hospitals, home health, hospice, wellness centers, and Vidant Medical Group, a multi-specialty physician and provider group with more than 500 providers in more than 90 locations in eastern North Carolina. Vidant is affiliated with The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University. As a major resource for health services and education, Vidant has a mission to improve the health and well-being of eastern North Carolina. For more information, visit www.vidanthealth.com.

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