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Getting Ready to Drive
Few teens and preteens ever think about the rules of the road or how to drive safely until they’re just about to start driving. For something as important as driving, we want your kids to get a head start. Here are a few ways to provide teens and preteens with the tools and support they need to make responsible choices before they are ready to drive or ride with other young, new drivers.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teenagers. Mile for mile, teenagers are four times more likely to be involved in a crash compared with other drivers. At ages 13 and 14, a teenager’s risk of dying while riding with a teenage driver is double what it was when he or she was younger.
- Talk to your kids about passenger safety. We’ll make it easy for you. Check out our Countdown2drive program, which helps you put together a passenger agreement and guidelines for pre-teens and teens that are specially tailored for your family.
- Kids are always watching, even when you think they’re not. So be a good example. Try to eliminate distractions by not using a cell phone or texting while driving. Use your teen or preteen to read maps and help with finding locations.
- Teach your kids to ride with experienced drivers and never get in the car with someone who has been drinking or doing drugs. Parents must decide what “experienced” means.
- Make it a rule that kids younger than 13 ride like a VIP – in the back. This is the safest place for preteens and younger children to sit.
- When carpooling, make sure you have enough seating positions and booster seats for every child in your car and that kids enter and exit curbside.
Help keep your preteens and teens safe as passengers. Check out our Countdown2drive program, which includes tips to help parents talk about curfews, grades and other important issues that may affect driving privileges.
You can download these tips here.