National Teen Driver Safety Week is October 15-21
The Kansas Department of Transportation wants to help empower parents and guardians to discuss the importance of driving safety with their young drivers.
Whether teens are driving a car, truck or SUV, and whether they’ve just earned their license or have had it for a few years, the rules of the road stay the same. Some of the greatest dangers for teen drivers are alcohol and other drug use, inconsistent or no seat belt use, distracted driving, speeding, and driving with passengers in the vehicle.
Be Empowered to Set Driving Rules!
• As a parent or guardian, your first priority is to protect your teen. Use this motivation to help keep your teen safe as they start navigating their new role as a driver.
• Remind your teen that driving is a privilege, not a right. As the parent, you’re in control. If your teen is following the rules of the road, the privilege to drive is there. If they aren’t following the rules of the road, they shouldn’t be freely given the keys to the car. Remember, their inexperience puts themselves and others at risk.
• Have a conversation with your teen driver about driving laws and safe driving habits. Your desire to keep them safe never gets old, so make sure the lines of communication are always open. Believe it or not, your teen is listening, and they depend on you to guide them and be there for them.
• Become familiar with your state’s nighttime driving restrictions, passenger restrictions, and graduated driver licensing (GDL) restrictions. Surveys show that teens with parents or guardians who set and enforce firm rules for driving typically report engaging in fewer risky driving behaviors and being involved in fewer crashes. By knowing and enforcing the laws with your teen, you promote safer driving for all road users.
• The responsibility for safe road behavior is shared: Be a good role model for your teen driver by demonstrating your own safe driving habits.
• Talk to your teen about cell phone use while in the car. Encourage them to put away their phones while driving, designate a texter or navigator, or pull over before answering phone calls, texting, or engaging with any social media apps. Remind your teen that it’s not acceptable to record themselves or post on social media while driving.