Facts Tennessee Parents Need to Know about Teen Drivers
Research from The Allstate Foundation shows that parents don’t understand the most deadly risks to their teens’ safety.
- 37% of Tennessee parents don’t know that the biggest safety risk to their teens is parked right outside their home.
- Parents believe that risk-taking is the primary cause of crashes, when inexperience is the real issue. Only 15% of Tennessee parents say a teen’s lack of driving experience is the top cause of crashes. That’s even lower than the national average of 18%.
Parents need and want to do more to keep their teen driver safer on the road.
- If they had it to do over again, 55% of parents in Tennessee agreed they would more closely including monitor their teen’s driving immediately after licensure.
- Most parents are not setting rules around the most dangerous behaviors on the road, passengers and nighttime driving. More than half of Tennessee teens (62%) said their parents have set rules on night restrictions, while less than half (47%) say they have restrictions on the number of passengers.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, there were 327 fatalities in crashes involving at least one 15- to 19-year-old motor vehicle driver in Tennessee from 2009-11. A total of 128 teen drivers (15-19), 33 teen passengers (15-19) and 35 other age passengers in the teen’s vehicle and 110 others were killed in those crashes.
Tennessee teens must log a minimum of 50 hours of driving practice, including 10 nighttime hours, before they can obtain a driver’s license.
Those facts by themselves are scary. Especially when Gabriel will start driving in only 4 years. 4 years isn’t a long time, but I’m glad we went to the #DriveItHome Show in Nashville last week by AllState and the National Safety Council. IT was a great way for us to get the dialouge started. The show itself was a comedy act that engaged both the kids and parents by highlighting things we all do while driving that we shouldn’t do. It also gave the kids facts in ways they could understand. Ever since the show, BOTH kids have been going through a sort of checklist before we go anywhere. “Everyone got seatbelts on? Phones stashed away?” I was glad that they paid attention and actually learned something from the show.
When we got home I went and checked out the driveithome.org website. It’s a very informative site and I was able to sign up to receive weekly driving practice tips and suggestions via e-mail, and I printed the Parent-Teen Driving Agreement. I’m going to bring it out in a couple of years and have both Gabriel and I sign it.
If you have a teen or a child who will be a teen in the next few years show them this funny video and start an open dialogue with them about safe driving. It will be worth it for both of you.