For teen drivers, the first six to 12 months, or the first 1,000 miles of driving, are critical. Those early months of driving experience are when inexperienced drivers are at their lifetime's highest risk of being in a car accident -- and motor vehicle accidents are the number 1 killer of teens in the U.S. Gradual exposure to driving, with limits on higher-risk situations and plenty of parental supervision, is key to helping them learn how to drive safely.
June is National Safety Month, and next week is the annual "Teen Driver Safety Week," an observance sponsored by the National Safety Council. The goal is to educate teen drivers and their parents about driving risks for teens, and to encourage safe behaviors that can help reduce the risk of preventable injuries and deaths.
The National Safety Council, a nonprofit advocacy group founded in 1913, is offering a number of free online courses and print materials to help parents protect their teen drivers from the serious risks of car accidents. Available educational materials include:
Free online program for parents: Alive at 25 Parent Program
A two-hour online program to help parents reinforce basic driving skills and good decision-making. Registration is free between June 12 and 18.
Free interactive webinar on June 13 at 11:00 a.m. Central time: How Can
I Keep My Teen Driver Safe?
Sponsored in part by Toyota and FirstGroup America, this free, one-hour webinar will help parents understand the factors that increase the risk of car accidents among teen drivers, and help teens and parents work together to reduce that risk.
Free downloadable driving guide: Teen Driver: A Family Guide to Teen Driver Safety
A free .pdf download available from the National Safety Council's website between June 12 and 18, this guide helps parents manage the journey from beginning driver to independent motorist. It includes a written driving agreement to help parents and teens define their rules, restrictions and expectations around driving, along with consequences of violating them.
If you have a teen driver in your family, take the time to talk about safe driving during Teen Driver Safety Week.