Top 10 things many parents don't know about teen driving

(October 18, 2013) ITASCA, Ill. — The most significant threat facing teens is the vehicle sitting in their parents' driveways. Yet, many parents remain under-educated about teen driving safety and the risks new drivers face.

In observance of National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 20-26, the National Safety Council today released a comprehensive list of things many parents do not — but need to — know about teen driver safety:

    • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.

    • Most dangero
us time of a teen driver's life is the first 12 months after receiving a license

    • A teen driver's crash risk is three times that of drivers ages 20 and older

    • Teens crash most often because they are inexperienced – not because they take more risks behind the wheel.

    • Teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teen drivers. Just one teen passenger raises a teen driver's fatal crash risk 44 percent. Two passengers doubles fatal crash risk. Three or more quadruples crash risk.

    • Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight

    • More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not restrained by a seatbelt.

    • Most states' teen driving laws and restrictions do not adequately protect teen drivers from the most serious crash risks

    • Teens really do learn to drive from watching their parents. A survey from The Allstate Foundation found 80 percent of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over teens' driving habits.

    • Crash risk remains high after licensure. In fact, young drivers' crash risk does not significantly begin decreasing until age 25.

"Parents literally hold the keys to developing good teen drivers," said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at NSC. "National Teen Driver Safety Week is the perfect time for parents to learn the facts and put their knowledge to action. The more parents know, the further most will go to protect their teens, which will keep our roads safer for all motorists."

The theme of National Teen Driver Safety Week, "It takes two: Shared expectations for parents and teens for driving," is in lockstep with the Council's recent focus on parent education around teen driver safety. DriveitHOME, an initiative of NSC, is a website created for parents by parents that focuses on the most important things parents can do to protect teen drivers.

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