National Teen Driver Safety Week: Rules of the road teens need t - Montgomery Alabama news.

National Teen Driver Safety Week: Rules of the road teens need to know

(Source: WSFA 12 News File Video) (Source: WSFA 12 News File Video)

National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 16th through the 22nd. The week is dedicated to raising awareness and seek solutions to preventable teen deaths and injuries on the road.

In 2013, an average of six teenagers died every day as a result of car crashes. Alabama is currently the second worst state in the nation for teen driver fatalities.

The Alabama Department of Public Health has put together a campaign and brochure called "Surviving Teen Driving". It's a guide for both new teen drivers and their parents. You can see it here.

The brochure lists 3 primary Factors influencing teen driver deaths: Alcohol, seat belts, and distractions.

“Alcohol is the one we recognize the most because everyone is aware of the risks of drinking and driving,” said Richard Burleson, Director of the Injury Prevention Branch of the Alabama Department of Public Health. “It can also include drug impairment and sleep impairment and exhaustion.”

Buckling up seems obvious in this day and age, but Burleson said teenagers are the least likely to wear their seatbelts properly.

“Always wear your seat belt, every time, every trip, no matter where, no matter how short.” Burleson says. 

Burleson said texting may be the first distraction that comes to mind when you think of teen drivers, but teens need to be aware that anything inside or outside of the car can distract them.

“Anytime you take your mind off what you’re doing, your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel” you are distracted, said Burleson.

Drivers aged 16 to 19 are twice as likely to crash as those 20 to 24, and 4 times as likely as those aged 30 to 69.

“It’s not that older drivers are just naturally safer drivers, driving is a skill,” said Burleson. “What makes an adult a safer driver is the experience and the years behind the wheel.”

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also has a campaign designed to help you start a conversation with your teens before they hit the road. It’s called the “5 to Drive” rules of the road.

You can read up on that information here.

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