Public Health: Safe driving expectations for teens

Drenda Niemann

Being a parent comes with many happy moments, but realizing your teen is about to head out on the road behind the wheel of a car for the first time isn’t typically one of them. However, parents of teen drivers can partner to support each other through this exciting and scary period of life. Don’t hand over the keys until the teen knows the rules of the road and your expectations for safe driving.

What is the issue?

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for teens (15-18 years old) in the United States. There were 2,042 people killed in crashes involving a teen passenger vehicle driver (15-18 years old) in 2019; 628 of the deaths were the teen driver. In 2019, an estimated 92,000 teen passenger vehicle drivers were injured in motor vehicle traffic crashes and an estimated 264,000 people were injured in crashes involving a teen driver, accounting for almost 10% of all those injured that year.

Parents play a critical role in teen driver safety in their ability to consistently

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