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Teen Driver Safety Week: Keeping teens safe behind the wheel

You may be aware that teens are more likely to crash because of their inexperience, so it might not come as a surprise that car crashes are one of the most common causes of death among teens. As of data from 2015, motor vehicle accidents were the leading cause of death for teens in the United States.

In that year, there were 1,972 fatal crashes involving teen drivers. In those crashes, 2,207 people were killed. It's estimated that around 99,000 teen drivers were injured in collisions the same year.

Why is it so likely for teens to get into a crash?

That comes down to inexperience and the likelihood for taking risks. Since that's the case, it's important to take time to talk to your teen about the risks of driving and safety techniques they can implement. Teen Driver Safety Week is Oct. 15 through the 21, which makes it the perfect time to have the discussion.

How can your teen stay safer behind the wheel?

It's easy. Avoid getting on the phone, don't text, get enough sleep and pay attention. Avoid distractions is one easy way to dramatically lower the risk of a collision. Additionally, never get behind the wheel after drinking, and if your teen is on medications for a cold or medical condition, see how it affects him or her before allowing him or her to drive to school, work or home.

Remind your teen about the importance of driving with only those who are necessary inside the vehicle. The more people inside, the more distractions, so avoid taking too many passengers at once. With these simple tips, your teen can stay safer and avoid a serious crash.

Source: The Daily Courier, "Car crashes are leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.," Scott Orr, Oct. 18, 2017

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