Teen drivers buckling up more than teen passengers

Filed under: Just For Moms, Teens, Just For Dads, Health & Safety: Babies, In The News

There are few things as frightening for a parent as watching their child drive off behind the wheel of a car alone for the first time. In my experience, the only thing that even comes close to that feeling is actually sitting next to your teen as she takes the wheel for the first time.

Hopefully by the time a kid is ready to solo, you've taught them well. They know the rules of the road and the importance of always wearing a seat belt. Unfortunately, a new study shows that many teens are forgetting that seat belt lesson when mom and dad aren't around to remind them, especially when they are in the passenger seat.

The study, conducted by Meharry Medical College in Nashville using data collected by national Youth Risk Behavior surveys, finds that just 59% of drivers aged 16 and older say they always wear a seat belt. That percentage sounds frighteningly low to me, but not as bad as this one: only 42% of teen passengers say they always buckle up.

The numbers regarding teen drivers are scary, indeed. 5,000 teens over the age of sixteen die each year in car accidents in the United States. Of those deaths, 40% are passengers in the car. Teaching your child to buckle up when driving is an important lesson, but clearly not the only one. If you have a kid of driving age, maybe you want to share these statistics with him or her. It sure can't hurt.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.