10 Rules to Help Keep Your Teen Driver Safe

Turn Off and Stow All Electronic Devices
Distracted drivers are dangerous drivers. ©iStock/Thinkstock

"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.

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