"At this time, please turn off and stow all electronic devices." That infamous flight safety announcement will help keep you safe on the roads.
American teens send a lot of text messages; 63 percent of them text, and they send between 50 and 100 messages every day [source: Lenhart]. And almost half of high school students admit to texting (or e-mailing) while behind the wheel [source: NCIPC].
Any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, or your mind off of driving, you're a distracted driver. A ringing cell phone, an incoming text message, your satellite-linked navigation system and information display -- even the french fries in the bag of fast food sitting on the passenger seat -- are all examples of driver distractions. And a distracted driver is a dangerous driver. In 2010, about one in every five car accidents that left someone injured involved a distracted driver, and the highest proportion of fatal crashes involved distracted drivers under the age of 20 [source: CDC NCIPC]. Insist your teen driver -- and this applies to drivers of any age, too -- power down all electronic devices before starting up the engine.
Author's Note: 10 Rules to Keep Your Teen Driver Safe
What I remember most about driving during my teen years are two things: those bloody videos of car crashes (you know, the ones where they focus more on shocking you with gore than educating about safe driving techniques), and the much more pleasant memory of spending six months as my father's chauffeur while I drove supervised with my learner's permit.
More Great Links
- AAA. "Parent Overview Guide: Welcoming Your New Driver." (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.ct.gov/dmv/lib/dmv/aaa_teendrivparent2013-final.pdf
- Berg, Phil. "Own the Night: 10 Tips for Driving After Dark." Popular Mechanics. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/how-to/repair/10-safety-tips-for-driving-after-dark#slide-1
- Bock, Robert. "Graduated drivers licensing programs reduce fatal teen crashes." National Institutes of Health. Nov. 4, 2011. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.nih.gov/news/health/nov2011/nichd-04.htm
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. "Distracted Driving." May 23, 2013. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/distracted_driving/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. "Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet." Oct. 2, 2012. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. "Vital Signs: Teen Drinking and Driving." Oct. 2, 2012. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/TeenDrinkingAndDriving/index.html
- Chen, Li-Hui; Baker, Susan P.; Braver, Elisa R.; and Guohua Li. "Carrying Passengers as a Risk Factor for Crashes Fatal to 16- and 17-Year-Old Drivers." The Journal of the American Medical Association. Vol. 283, no. 12. Pages 1578-1582. March 22, 2000. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=192524
- Clarke, Warren. "Choosing a Safe Car for Your Teen Driver." Edmunds. May 24, 2012. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.edmunds.com/car-buying/choosing-a-safe-car-for-your-teen-driver.html
- Consumer Reports. "Cars for teen drivers." Feb. 2012. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/01/cars-for-teen-drivers/index.htm
- Curry, Allison E.; Mirman, Jessica H.; Kallan, Michael J.; Winston, Flaura K.; and Dennis R. Durbin. "Peer Passengers: How Do They Affect Teen Crashes?" Journal of Adolescent Health. Vol. 50, no. 6. Pages 588-594. June 2012. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1054139X11003600
- Degutis, Linda. "5 Ways to Keep Teens Safe on the Road." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- CDC Injury Center: Director's View Blog. Oct. 19, 2012. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://blogs.cdc.gov/ncipc/2012/10/19/5-ways-to-keep-teens-safe-on-the-road/
- Ferguson, Susan. "Speeding-Related Fatal Crashes Among teen Drivers and Opportunities for Reducing the Risks." Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA). 2013. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.ghsa.org/html/publications/pdf/sfteens_speed.pdf
- Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA). "Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) Laws." October 2013. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/license_laws.html
- Halsey III, Ashley. "Nighttime driving is biggest danger for teen drivers, study says." The Washington Post. May 6, 2010. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/05/AR2010050505689.html
- Halsey III, Ashley. "Teenage drivers with peer passengers at higher risk for fatal crashes, study finds." The Washington Post. Sept 26, 2013. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-09-26/local/42411100_1_drivers-fatalities-teen-passengers
- Holstein, Jared. "Top 10 Safe Vehicles for Less than $25,000." Car and Driver. August 2007. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.caranddriver.com/features/top-10-safe-vehicles-for-less-than-25000
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety -- Highway Loss Data Institute. "Beginning drivers and crash risk." (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.iihs.org/iihs/brochures/beginning-teen-drivers
- Lenhart, Amanda. "Teens, Smartphones & Texting." Pew Internet. March 19, 2012. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2012/Teens-and-smartphones/Summary-of-findings.aspx?view=all
- Macek, Kara. "Parents Urged to Leverage State GDL Programs to help Reduce Teen Crash Risk During National Teen Driver Safety Week." Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA). Oct. 17, 2013. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.ghsa.org/html/media/pressreleases/2013/20131017ntdsw.html
- Mohn, Tanya. "The Mixed Bag of Driver Education." The New York Times. June 22, 2012. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/automobiles/the-mixed-bag-of-driver-education.html
- National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). "Teen Drivers." March 2013. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/teen-drivers-overview.aspx
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). "Teen Drivers." (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Teen+Drivers/
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). "Teen Drivers - Parents & Teens." (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Teen+Drivers/Teen+Drivers+Education/Teen+Drivers+-+Parents+&+Teens
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) -- National Center for Statistics and Analysis. "Traffic Safety Facts: Alcohol-Impaired Driving." Dec. 2012. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811700.pdf
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) -- National Center for Statistics and Analysis. "Traffic Safety Facts: Seat Belt Use in 2008--Demographic Results." Aug. 2009. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811183.PDF
- National Safety Council. "Nighttime Driving Restrictions.' 2007. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/TeenDriving/Documents/7-9500NighttimeDrivingRestrict.pdf
- National Safety Council. "Seat Belts." (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/DriverSafety/Pages/SeatBelts.aspx
- National Safety Council. "Seat Belts: Who's Wearing Them?" April 2009. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/DriverSafety/Documents/Seat%20Belts%20Who%20Is%20Wearing%20Them.pdf
- National Safety Council. "Teen Driving: What Parents Can Do." (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/TeenDriving/Pages/WhatParentsCanDo.aspx
- Nelson, Gabe. "Accident prevention features to affect vehicle safety ratings?" Autoweek. April 8, 2013. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.autoweek.com/article/20130408/carnews/130409853
- Ricks, Delthia. "Study: Texting whlie driving now leading cause of death for teen drivers." Newsday. May 8, 2013. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/study-texting-while-driving-now-leading-cause-of-death-for-teen-drivers-1.5226036
- Winston, FK; Kallan, MJ; Senserrick, TM; and MR Elliot. "Risk factors for death among older child and teenaged motor vehicle passengers." Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. Vol. 162, no. 3. Pages 253-260. March 2008. (Oct. 26, 2013) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18316663
Parallel parking can be stressful, whether you're dealing with your driving test or snagging the last spot on the street. Is parallel parking still necessary?