Top Tips to Keep Teens Safe Behind the Wheel

 

            MEDIA CONTACT:

                Sarah Cattie

                Safe Kids Delaware

                302-744-2746

                sarah.cattie@delaware.gov

Top Tips to Keep Teens Safe Behind the Wheel

National Teen Driver Safety Week puts the spotlight on safe teen driving behavior 

Dover, DE –  In recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 21-27, 2018), Safe Kids Delaware urges teens and their families to discuss smart strategies for staying safe behind the wheel. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for American teens and are most often the result of inexperienced teen drivers taking risks like not buckling up, texting, driving with teen passengers, speeding, driving under the influence or driving in the dark.

To learn more safety tips, visit https://www.safekids.org/safetytips.

“Every year more than two thousand teen drivers are involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes, most of which are caused by inexperience on the road,” said Kim O’Malley, Chairperson, Safe Kids Delaware Board of Directors. “Time and again we hear stories about teens whose inexperience, when combined with unnecessary risk-taking – like not wearing a seat belt- results in tragedy. Teen Driver Safety Week should serve as an important reminder to parents to talk to their teens about the necessity of buckling up and keeping the phone down on every ride, and to make sure you are following the rules, too.”

Safe Kids Delaware recommends the following top driving safety tips for teen drivers.

  1. Talk to your teens about how to be safe while driving. Remind teens to follow traffic signals and laws, make eye contact with pedestrians, and enter and exit driveways and alleys slowly and carefully.
  1. Make a formal agreement with your teen and enforce it. A 2016 research report by Safe Kids Worldwide showed that formal parent-teen agreements regarding driving restrictions help reduce risky driving, traffic violations, and crashes.
  1. Let your actions speak as loud as your words. Kids are always watching, even when you think they’re not. So set a good example when kids and teens are in the car. If you buckle up, they are more likely to buckle up and if you speed, they will speed. 
  1. Ensure your new teen driver gets at least 50 hours of experience under a variety of driving conditions. Having more experience behind the wheel helps new drivers manage driving in the dark and driving with other teen passengers in the car, situations that can increase the likelihood of crashes for young drivers.
  1. Take action against distraction. Teach teen drivers to put cell phones and other distractions in the back seat or out of sight until their final destination.
  1. Be alert around neighborhoods and schools. When driving, be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones and be on the lookout for bikers, walkers or runners who may be distracted or may step into the street unexpectedly.
  1. Watch out for pedestrians. Give pedestrians the right of way and look both ways when making a turn to help spot any bikers, walkers or runners who may not be immediately visible.

Download infographic to review common risks and tips.

Download a sample family agreement.

In further recognition of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Safe Kids Worldwide, with support from Chevrolet, released the results of their Teen Video Challenge. Kaylyn Barbour, a teen from Oklahoma, created the award-winning video in which she shares her story of how her choice to not wear her seat belt changed her life completely. The tragic experience has compelled Kaylyn to speak out to teens about the risks of unsafe driving behaviors.

Watch Kaylyn’s Story

The Safe Kids Buckle Up program is a national initiative established 19 years ago by Safe Kids Worldwide and GM to keep children, teens, and families safe in and around cars. GM’s long-term commitment to educating families has helped the child safety program evolve into one of the most comprehensive in the nation, and covers children from birth to the time they become drivers.

About Safe Kids Delaware

Safe Kids Delaware works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the number one cause of death for children in the United States. Its members include various state agencies and other partners including Delaware Division of Public Health, Delaware State Fire School, Christiana Care Health System, Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children, Bayhealth Medical Center, Beebe Healthcare, Delaware Department of Transportation, Delaware Office of Highway Safety, Kent County Department of Public Safety/EMS, Delaware State Police, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.  Safe Kids Delaware is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury in children. Safe Kids Delaware was founded in 1992 and is led by Delaware’s Division of Public Health.

For more information, visit safekids.org or https://www.facebook.com/Safe-Kids-Delaware-165551260209124/

This message has been brought to you on behalf of Safe Kids Delaware from the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.


Parents Play an Important Role in Protecting their Teen Driver

Do you have a young driver in your house? Do they think they are a safe driver? The Office of Highway Safety (OHS), along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announce the “5 to Drive” campaign during National Teen Driver Safety Week, October 18 – 24, 2015. The campaign aims to help parents talk to their teen drivers about the rules of the road. “Even though your teens might be gaining some independence and getting older, protecting them from harm shouldn’t stop now,” said Jana Simpler, Director of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

“The ‘5 to Drive’ campaign will give parents the tools they need to keep their teen drivers safe.” The “5 to Drive” campaign addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers and provides parents the tools needed to talk with their teens about the rules of the road.

The “5 to Drive” rules for parents to share with their teens are:

1. No Drinking and Driving – almost one out of five (19 percent) of the young drivers (15 to 19 years old) involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, even though they were too young to legally buy or possess alcohol.

2. Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. – 64 percent of all the young (13- to 19-year-old) passengers of teen (15- to 19-year-old) drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 weren’t restrained.

3. Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All. – The age group of 15 to 19 years old has the highest percentage of drivers who were distracted by cell phone use and involved in a fatal crash. In 2013, 318 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver.

4. Stop Speeding Before It Stops You – In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.

5. No More Than One Passenger at a Time. – The risk of a fatal crash goes up with each additional passenger.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. In 2014, Delaware lost 20 teens in fatal crashes. There are over 33,000 licensed teen drivers in Delaware. Teen drivers account for five percent of all drivers in Delaware yet are involved in approximately 15 percent of all reportable crashes in Delaware. Crash rates go up after a teen completes the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) requirements, emphasizing the importance of parental supervision and guidance of teen drivers for several years.

The Delaware Teen Driver Task Force has developed 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.

• A subcommittee was created to update the driver’s education curriculum in Delaware high schools. The curriculum has been 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.

• 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. http://www.theparentssuperviseddrivingprogram.com/states/de.html

• The SmartDrive Foundation is conducting in school education programs such as their Driving With Intention program, PROMise program and Distraction & Reaction program. www.smartdriveusa.org

• The Delaware Teen Driver Task Force released a video titled “Crossing the Line”. The video tells the story of a 2012 fatal crash involving 17 year-old Andre Smith who was was killed in the crash on April 12, 2012 on Route 896 in Middletown. The video has become part of the revised Driver’s Education Curriculum. The video can be viewed and shared on the Office of Highway Safety Arrive Alive DE YouTube channel http://youtu.be/RLiFdKFOkpU.

On September 19th and September 26th, The Office of Highway Safety, along with the state’s Teen Driver Task Force and other partners, hosted two teen driver safety events for parents and teens. Parents and teens participated in several interactive stations together to build their driving relationship in a positive way. The event was open to students from all Delaware high schools regardless of event location. In addition, students were entered into a drawing for a scholarship if they attend one of the events and complete all of the activities. A total of 6 scholarships were awarded. Three scholarships were given away at each event. First place was awarded $1,500, second place was awarded $1,000 and third place was awarded $500. The 6 scholarship winners were from Sussex Technical High School, Sussex Central High School, St. Mark’s High School, William Penn High School and St. George’s Technical High School.

For more information and resources for teen drivers and the Graduated Driver License visit OHS website at www.ohs.delaware.gov/TeenDriving.shtml, NHTSA website at http://www.nhtsa.gov/Teen-Drivers or visit www.teendriving.dmv.de.gov.


Ford Driving Skills For Life Teen Driver Safety Events

Dover-  Do you have a young driver in your house? Do they think they are a safe driver? Through a Ford Motor Company Driving Skills for Life Grant, The Office of Highway Safety, along with the state’s Teen Driver Task Force and other partners, will be hosting two teen driver safety events this month for parents and teens. Parents and teens will participate in several interactive stations together to build their driving relationship in a positive way. The event is open to students from all Delaware high schools regardless of event location. In addition, students will be entered into a drawing for a scholarship if they attend one of the events and complete all of the activities. A total of 6 scholarships will be randomly awarded. Three scholarships will be given away following each event. First place will be awarded $1,500, second place will be awarded $1,000 and third place will be awarded $500.

The events are scheduled for:
Saturday Sept. 19, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sussex Technical High School
17099 County Seat Highway
Georgetown, DE 19947

Saturday Sept. 26, 2015
10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
St. Marks High School
2501 Pike Creek Rd.
Wilmington, DE 19808

Each event will include two guest speakers on teen driving issues, Tim Hollister and Jennifer Macauley. Tim Hollister is a fellow parent and has become a national authority and spokesperson for safer teen driving since he lost his 17 year old son Reid in a car crash in 2006. He served on the Connecticut state taskforce that overhauled the state’s teen driver laws. He has also written a book Not So Fast: Parenting Your Teen Through the Dangers of Driving, an informative and vital guide for parents to help them understand the causes of teen crashes and head them off before their teen gets behind the wheel. Copies of Hollister’s book will be distributed to parents at both events. (http://www.nsfteendriving.com/).

The second speaker, Jennifer Macauley, was hit at an intersection in August 2004 when a large truck ran a red light (unknown cause) and struck her car on the driver’s side. She was 20 years old at the time and had just graduated from Cecil County Community College three months prior. Jen was admitted to Christiana Care’s trauma ICU for a traumatic brain injury. She was eventually transferred to Bryn Mawr rehabilitation hospital to learn to walk, talk and take care of herself again.

Additional event activities include Christiana Care’s distracted driving simulator, Smart Drive’s SIDNE Driving Simulators and Distraction and Reaction, Delaware State Police’s No Zone Truck Display, Delaware State Police’s Rollover seat belt convincer, Safe Driving Pledge Display, and information tables with Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), State Farm, and AAA.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds in the U.S. There are over 33,000 licensed teen drivers in Delaware. Teen drivers account for five percent of all drivers in Delaware yet are involved in approximately 15 percent of all reportable crashes in Delaware.

The events are funded through a grant from Ford Motor Company’s teen safe driving program and supported by the state’s Teen Driver Task Force and other partners including Smart Drive, DMV, DSP, AAA Mid-Atlantic, Christiana Care, State Farm, Delaware Safety Council and Delaware Safety Driver’s Education Association of driver’s education teachers.

For more information and resources for teen drivers and the Graduated Driver License visit OHS website at www.ohs.delaware.gov/TeenDriving.shtml or visit www.teendriving.dmv.de.gov.


You Are Not Invincible

Crossing the Line video released for Teen Driver Safety Week

Dover- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the US. During Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct 19-25), the Delaware Teen Driver Task Force released a video titled “Crossing the Line”. The video tells the story of a 2012 fatal crash involving 17 year-old Andre Smith who was a passenger in a speeding vehicle driven by 19 year old driver Mar’Kese Marshall-Horsey. Andre Smith was killed in the crash on April 12, 2012 on Route 896 in Middletown.

Andre Smith was a high school senior and star football player at Appoquinimink High School and was to graduate June 13th, 2012. Unfortunately Andre did not make it to graduation day. After spending the day with friends and on the way home, Andre was riding in the passenger seat when the driver was speeding and lost control of his SUV, swearing into oncoming traffic. The passenger side was struck by another large vehicle, killing Andre instantly.

Speed was one of the contributing factors in this fatal incident said Sean Lugg, Deputy Attorney General for the Delaware Department of Justice. “If it wasn’t for the speed, this collision would not have happened.”

Between 2011 and 2013, drivers aged 19 years and under were responsible for the most speed related injury crashes (22%) in Delaware.  Male drivers accounted for two-thirds (2/3) of those crashes. Kevin M. Bradley M.D., Associate Medical Director of Trauma at Christiana Care Health System, believes young folks are prone to crashes because there is a sense of invincibility and something bad won’t happen to them. “Speed is a factor in injury, because when traveling at a high rate of speed, you are more prone to get into a crash and following that crash you are more likely to have more severe injuries,” Dr. Bradley said.

Nineteen year old Mar’Kese Marshall-Horsey was the driver in Andre Smith’s fatal crash. He was charged with the reckless killing of his friend. “I lost everything; I lost everything and everybody,” said Marshall-Horsey. “One accident put everything out the window.”

The driver is currently serving a 5-year prison term at Howard Young Correctional Facility as a result of his actions that lead to the fatal crash.

“Crossing the Line” documents the consequences that many have suffered as a result of this tragic crash and will also become part of the revised Driver’s Education curriculum to be distributed to all drivers’ education teachers in the State of Delaware.

The video can be viewed and shared on the Office of Highway Safety Arrive Alive DE YouTube channel http://youtu.be/RLiFdKFOkpU.

 


Does Your Teen Driver Know Everything?

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.