5 Tips for Teen Drivers

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According to statistics compiled by Westfield Insurance, "Car accidents are the leading cause of death among 15- to 20-year-olds." Teens are at risk for several behavioral reasons. Below are 5 tips to keep your teen safe on the roads in 2013. 

1. Eliminate cell phone use when behind the wheel. 

Also according to Westfield Insurance, 19% of teens text and drive. Texting both distracts and inhibits the drivers ability to drive safely. A text or call can wait until your teen arrives at his or her destination. If it is an emergency, urge your teen to pull over. 

The legality of cell phone use while driving varies by state. Texting and driving is illegal in 39 states. Read the Governors Highway Safety Association's Cell Phone and Texting Laws to find out what laws apply in your state. 

2. Wear your seat belt. 

When it comes to wearing a seat belt, teens are rather disobedient. Teens utilize seat belts less than any other age group, according to the CDC Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet. So, ask your teen to utilize this basic safety feature; it could save a life. Westfield Insurance lists "riding without seatbelts" as one of three significant crash factors. 

3.  Emphasize the dangers of drinking and driving. 

The CDC reported, "In 2010, 22% of drivers aged 15 to 20 involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes were drinking." Drinking and driving endangers all drivers and pedestrians on the road. It also puts you at risk for legal punishment. Drinking and driving can ruin the life of any teen. Be sure that your teen is aware of these serious consequences

4. Stay within the speed limit. 

"55 percent of teens said they exceed the speed limit by more than 10 mph," according to Allstate Insurance. Speeding is illegal for a reason. Safe drivers observe the speed limit, and also observe the speed of surrounding drivers. 

5. Avoid reckless driving activity. 

Teens that drive with other teen passengers are more likely to crash, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Urge your teen to drive solo, but if he or she must drive with others, emphasize caution. Teen drivers must learn to either eliminate or ignore distractions while driving. 

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