Engaging Teens Does Work for Driving Safety

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.


Allstate Insurance Company recently awarded fifty $1,000 awards to various organizations that promote safe driving for teens. National Youth Traffic Safety Month was declared for the first time this past May. Allstate Insurance teamed up with NOYS (National Organizations for Youth Safety) and issued a challenge to these different youth organizations to come up with campaigns that could help decrease the number of fatalities and injuries due to teenage driving.

You might say that many teens all over the country took to the challenge and managed some creative, educational ways to promote safe driving for teenagers. How many lives has this effort saved so far? No one knows the answer. However, this $50,000 incentive has challenged teenagers to come up with solutions and essentially has put them in the driver’s seat. What better way than to engage teens at the very thing that is the problem?

By empowering teens to come up with solutions on how to save the lives of other young drivers, you are actually opening their eyes to the fact that maybe their own actions and habits are not safe either. This is actually a pretty ingenious move on behalf of Allstate Insurance and the National Organizations for Youth Safety. Everyone knows that teens sometimes just pretend to hear adults and lectures often go in one ear and out the other. However, by putting them in charge of coming up with their own solutions to this growing teenage driving problem, these teens are getting quite an education on their own and often will fix their own habits without prompting.

This contest likely brought many teenagers face to face with their own mortality and they probably did not like it. After all, most teens feel that they are invincible and have all the time in the world. Well, when preparing for this contest, these teens likely learned about the appalling statistics on the death rate of teenage drivers and how many of these accidents could have been prevented. That kind of eye-opener tends to make most people, especially impressionable teens, sit up and take notice.

An adult relaying this information will likely be met with eye-rolling and “yeah, whatever’s.” However, when you empower your teen to come up with this information on their own, well, they appreciate it all the more. Allstate Insurance and NOYS deserve some kudos for protecting new teenage drivers on the road. Now, let’s hope that your teens sit up and take notice too.


Teens need better driving lessons

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.

J. Devin Bachman –Community Press Guest Columnist

 Community Press Guest Columnist         

Because of the recent news concerning teen driving, I thought it would be nice to address this issue from a teen driver’s point of view. I do not believe changing the age to get your driver’s license is the answer because many of us face complex schedules where there is a need for us to drive.

Today, many teens are involved in extra-curricular activities such as athletics, music programs, academic teams, actively involved in the community and jobs. Teenage involvement in these activities make it difficult for parents to transport their students to these various commitments. Many people say we should not be involved in so many things, however these are the activities that colleges look at in addition to academics. Things are different than when many of our parents and grandparents grew up because in most families both parents work and there are not other ways of transportation available for us to get around. Additionally, many school districts have cut busing and the new Ohio law prohibiting the number of passengers in a vehicle put more teen drivers on the road.

I also think, however, that it is much too easy for teens to get a license. The classes are horrible and the instructors do not teach you anything. Yes, they can show us videos and give us book work, but are we really learning anything? The class time to me was not meaningful. The in-car practice teaches you nothing because your parents help out with that and the instructors only put you on back roads. They never really put you on roads where you are forced to be aware and show that you can be a good driver. The test is too easy, and it doesn’t take much effort from the teenagers.

The maneuverability can easily be mastered with practice and besides, what is the real purpose of the maneuverability test? I sit and think to myself when will I ever put this test/drill to use … never. And, the test is as weak as the in-car classes because it takes you on back and easy roads again rather than testing what you know. Many teenagers have a license and take it for granted. I think teens should have more in-car classes/teachings (with parents and instructors). This will give us teenagers a chance to actually get to know what is right and wrong so we actually know what to do in certain situations.

Teenagers also should be taught in classrooms with more of a class environment and having better, more qualified teachers to teach the teens instead of showing videos and having us teens copy senseless information out of a book or pamphlet.

Yes, teenagers need to be able to have the freedom of getting a license, but it needs to be taken seriously and not easily, and not be easily obtained.

Source:  Cincinnati.Com  »  Community Press & Recorder  »  Teens need better driving lessons 

The parental transition of teen driving

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.Dean Poling
The Valdosta Daily Times

Somewhere in the rush of picking up our oldest son from one event to deliver him to another outing with the realization that we would have to pick him up again in about 45 minutes to take him to another get-together, it dawned on my wife that perhaps there is some reason to this rhyme of non-stop teen events.

Maybe there is an unspoken societal contract coupled with a growing teen-ager’s need to be out of the house that is designed to make a coming major event in a teen-ager’s life a little easier for parents to accept.

That major event is driving — a teen-ager learning how to drive.

As our 15-year-old son has entered the threshold of that milestone, my wife and I know the fear and trepidation of so many parents. This person who was once our little man is now some nearly full-grown dude behind the wheel.

In mentioning that our son has his learner’s permit, we’ve experienced the appreciative nods of parents who have been there already with their grown or growing children. We’ve seen the wide-eyed gasp of panic from parents whose children are a year or two younger than our oldest son; it’s a realization that if our son is already driving then their children will be driving, too, a lot sooner than they want to consider.

And there are the parents with white knuckles and smiles that aren’t really smiles as much as bared, gritted teeth. These are the parents in the same boat as we are with a 15-year-old. They are easy to recognize because they have the same expression I have often found on my face.

There are many reasons for this anxious look of fear on the face of parents: The rising cost of insurance and the rising potential of dents and dings on vehicles; the horrible fears that accompany the thought of a child driving; the realization that with a car, a parent may not always know exactly where the teen-age child is.

There are many reasons for that clenched-tooth look, but there is also the knowledge that in teaching them to drive we are preparing them to leave the nest. We are loosening the parental leash a lot further and we are preparing for them to venture out in the world.

In teaching a child to drive, a parent is figuratively and literally driving a child toward independence.

So, there are many reasons for fear and trepidation, which brings me back to my wife’s realization.

It seems that along with a learner’s permit at the age of 15, a teen-ager’s activities increase to a point where a parent spends a ridiculous amount of time on the road racing the teen back and forth, and to and fro.

Maybe this is by design.

Maybe a parent is supposed to drive or accompany a 15-year-old to so many events to help teach the teen how to drive under a parent’s supervision, but also to serve as a proper transition.

After all that driving, maybe a parent is supposed to be relieved that at long last a teen-age child can drive himself to all of the places he must go. Maybe the events and activities increase so that a parent is more than happy to say, You can drive yourself.

Maybe that bit of rest is supposed to take some of the edge off the parents’ worries. Maybe, we’ll see…..

Dean Poling is The Valdosta Daily Times features editor

Keeping Young Drivers Safe:


A Resource for Parents and Educators

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.

Visit the Keeping Young Drivers Safe Web site.  The site provides research-based guidance to parents and educators to help new drivers stay as safe as possible during their first years behind the wheel.  Traffic crashes are the No. 1 killer of teenagers. Crashes are more common among young drivers than among any other age group, with 1 in 4 crash fatalities in the U.S. involving a 16- to 24-year old. The first six months after getting a license are the most dangerous time for any driver, and risk remains high during the first year. After this, the crash risk for young drivers remains two to three times as high as for adults, until young drivers reach age 25.

In an effort to reduce crashes among young people, The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies co-developed a multi-year, teen-centered research initiative to help young drivers develop safe, smart driving behaviors and skills. We also co-sponsored a panel of international experts and assembled a multidisciplinary team of researchers from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania to determine the best ways to help parents and educators prepare new drivers for a lifetime of safe driving.

Review the navigation items on the left-hand side of this site; you’ll find information on numerous topics, including:

Source: http://www.chop.edu/consumer/jsp/division/generic.jsp?id=84822 

Teen Driving: Are We Actually Safe?

Are You Worried Now That Your Teen Is Driving?  “Finally, a ‘New Driver’ car magnet my teenager is willing to accept….” CLICK HERE to see.


A publication of the students of the Summer Journalism Institute


Although driving offers teenagers a new form of independence and bold new experiences, it is nothing new that teen drivers are the most reckless and least experienced on the roads. Although teen drivers make up a mere 7% of licensed drivers, they account for 14% of all vehicle fatalities and 20% of all reported accidents, according to the The Association of Public-Safety Communications Website. These statistics are not stagnant; unfortunately, they are constantly increasing at an alarming rate with nearly half of all teen deaths being vehicle related.

Utah research, directed by Dr. Natalie Z. Cvijanovich, poses the question: “What factors contribute to the increased accident rate among teens?” Their findings may shock you. One major contributing factor is that teenage drivers may not yet have fully developed decision-making abilities and judgment. Adding to the lack of development, teenagers also underestimate dangerous situations and overestimate their own skills as a driver. Their decisions on the road can be highly influenced by peer pressure and/or other stresses. The Utah researchers hope that their findings may inspire others to take action in providing young drivers with this information in order to create safer driving conditions for everyone.

There are mixed feelings about the current safety status of our roads. Some say that we are safe but others disagree. Due to stricter regulations and new laws that are in effect to protect teen drivers and others, many say that we are safer now than ever before. The Nevada Legislature’s Website says that holders of learner’s permits in the state must submit a written log of the dates and times they have driven before applying for a driver’s license. Hawaii requires that all teens must complete a mandatory driver’s education course in order to apply for a license, according to the Department of Motorized Vehicles’s Website. Since October of 2000, Florida law requires that those under the age of eighteen years who are applying for their driver’s licenses must hold a learner’s permit for twelve months or until their eighteenth birthday, not acquire any traffic violations, and be certified by a parent or guardian to have at least fifty hours of driving experience, at least ten of which must be of nighttime driving. Teens who were issued a license prior to October of 2000 were exempt from the previously stated requirements. These regulations are a major step in the right direction from what formerly was in effect.

Others believe that even though laws and regulations are protecting teen drivers, they are not making a significant change. According to the National Safety Council, traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen fatalities and account for 44% of teen deaths in the U.S. This certainly raises concern for those who believe that the laws and regulations previously put into effect are working. The NSC also states that teenagers driving at night with passengers are four to five more times as likely to crash than teenagers driving alone during the day. These concerns are prompting states to pass stricter legislation for teenage drivers, but where is the line drawn?

We seem to be moving in the right direction. Yet, with the teen vehicle fatality rate so high, are the laws and regulations effictively working? Those whose lives have been personally impacted by an accident will be more open and willing to voice their concerns about teenage driving. On the other hand, those who are content and satisfied with the laws and regulations, (most importantly the results of the laws and regulations) will most likely speak in favor of the current situation. Any way you look at it, you cannot ignore the statistics and how this issue has impacted the world we live in.