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Does Your Teen Driver Know Everything?

Date Posted: Friday, October 17th, 2014
Categories:  Kent County New Castle County News Office of Highway Safety Safety and Homeland Security Sussex County

Teen Driver Safety Week October 19-25

Dover – Has your teen driver ever rolled their eyes and responded “Yes, I know that” when you are trying to coach them behind the wheel? We know they do not know everything but part of your job as parents and caregivers is to ensure they learn everything about how to be a responsible and safe driver.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. In fact, almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die. Yet, a recent survey shows that only 25% of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving. During Teen Driver Safety Week, parents and caregivers of teen drivers are encouraged to have a conversation with their teen drivers and set rules about the responsibility of having the car keys before they hit the road.

In June of 2012, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety coordinated a technical assessment and evaluation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the Delaware driver education program. The assessment report has contributed to the State’s efforts to enhance the effectiveness of its driver’s education program in preventing injuries, saving lives and reducing economic costs of young novice driver motor vehicle crashes on Delaware’s roadways. As a result, the Delaware Teen Driver Task Force was re-established in 2013. One of the goals for the task force is to promote education of teen drivers and their parents about safe driving skills, training, and the consequences if ignored. Members of the task force include the Office of Highway Safety, Division of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Education, Delaware Driver Safety Education Association, Delaware State Police, and SmartDrive.

Members of the task force have developed or have provided several resources for parents and teens to encourage a dialog of safe driving and rules of the road. These resources are available year round and are being highlighted during Teen Driver Safety Week.

  • The Office of Highway Safety created a Graduated Driver’s License Parent Orientation Program to educate parents of teen drivers about their responsibilities under the GDL law. http://www.ohs.delaware.gov/OHSGDL/story.html
  • The DMV coordinated the Parent Supervised Driving Program and RoadReady app for parents and teens. This year theme is It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving. The topic is aligned with the program’s effort to help motivate parents to expand their participation in the supervised driving process. http://www.theparentssuperviseddrivingprogram.com/states/de.html
  • The Delaware Driver and Safety Education Association (DDSEA) is encouraging Delaware high schools to participate in Celebrate My Drive, powered by State Farm Insurance. The program brings added awareness to teen driver safety during National Teen Driver Safety Week. In addition, it offers participating schools the chance to compete for grant money ranging from $25,000-$100,000 by having their schools and communities vote online in recognition of the importance of keeping 2 eyes on the road and 2 hands on the wheel when driving. www.celebratemydrive.com/home
  • The SmartDrive Foundation is conducting in school education programs such as their Driving With Intention program, PROMise program and Distraction & Reaction program. Each program is designed to educate young drivers to make the right decisions every time they are behind the wheel so they will never put anyone in harm’s way. www.smartdriveusa.org
  • A subcommittee was created to update the driver’s education curriculum in Delaware high schools. The curriculum is being updated to meet the National Content Standards for driver’s education curriculum, meet the Common Core State Standards initiative and to include new traffic laws. The new curriculum will ensure continuity, measurement, and accountability for educators and novice teen drivers learning in Delaware.

For more information about teen driving visit www.safercar.gov/parents, www.ohs.delaware.gov, http://www.dmv.de.gov/services/driver_services/teen/index.shtml.

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