This week’s a big week for driving safety advocates around the United States. It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week and Operation Safe Driver Week. As a Louisville, Kentucky legal practice that’s passionate about keeping our local roadways as safe as possible, we felt this week was the perfect time to discuss the importance of both campaigns.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week is a campaign to put an end to unsafe driving behaviors by commercial motor vehicle drivers as well as passenger vehicle drivers. During the week of October 16-22nd, law enforcement agencies throughout all of North America will take part in heightened traffic safety enforcement and education aimed to combat unsafe driving behaviors.
National Teen Driver Safety Week is a campaign that was started by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). During the week of October 16th-22nd, parents and educators around the nation will do everything they can to encourage young drivers to prioritize safety while behind the wheel. This encouragement can take the form of educational activities and pamphlets or individual conversations we can each have with the teenagers in our lives.
During these conversations, it’s recommended to speak to teen drivers about the top “5 to drive” things any driver always needs to focus on. Here’s a basic rundown of the 5 behaviors that will help any driver—no matter their age—raise their levels of awareness and ensure they stay safe behind the wheel:
- No drinking and driving
Teenagers are too young, legally, to drink, purchase, or possess alcohol, but they’re still at risk for drinking and driving. If you have a teenage driver, remind them that driving while impaired leads to an astounding amount of accidents every year. No matter how much they’re pressured to drink and/or take drugs, learning how to say “no” saves lives.
- Always buckle up
It’s easy to neglect wearing a seatbelt when you’re in a hurry, but taking an extra second to buckle up can prevent a tragedy if the driver needs to quickly stop for whatever reason. If your teenage driver gets into a good habit of always buckling up, they’ll likely always remember to do so for the rest of their lives.
- Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel
This is a vital one for teenagers. When teenagers are first learning to drive, it’s important for them to focus as much as possible on the task of driving. Doing so helps them gain quicker response times while allowing reactions to become second nature. Regardless of a driver’s experience level, remembering to always keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the steering wheel helps you pay more attention and avoid more accidents.
- No speeding
In Kentucky, motorists cited for driving 11 to 25 mph over the speed limit can be ticketed—possibly receiving up to six points on their license. Teens may be tempted to speed, but going faster than the suggested speed limit can be incredibly dangerous, especially during adverse weather conditions. In 2014, 30% of teen drivers who were involved in crashes were speeding. This number needs to go down.
- No more than one passenger at a time
If your teenager often drives his or her group of friends around, you may need to talk with them about the risks of driving with too many passengers. When a motorist has extra passengers, this naturally leads to more ways for the driver to become distracted. By limiting your teenager’s passengers to one, you restrict the ways in which they can become distracted. Driving while distracted causes thousands of deaths every year. Don’t let your teen become another statistic.
This week is a good week to remind your teenagers about these 5 crucial ways they can avoid being involved in a car crash. Safety needs to be a priority every day, but by spreading awareness this week, we, as a nation, work together to spread awareness every single day—thereby helping everyone stay safe.
For more information, check out this list of campaign resources and activities. Additionally, feel free to contact Tad Thomas, Louisville, KY personal injury lawyer, at any time regarding Kentucky driver safety or legal issues. At Thomas Law Offices, we care about motorist safety—this week and every week.
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