First, though, a little about the event….It was held in an auditorium at the Peace Center in Greenville (not too far from me) and the husband went along with me. The event was sponsored by the Allstate Foundation and featured several skits from The Second City out of Chicago. They really lightened the mood with the humor in their sketches, while also getting the safe driving message across.
A few agents talked to the group and at the end, a mother talked about her teen son who died in a car crash just three years ago.
I think the two things that stood out to me most were:
–50% of teens will be in some sort of vehicle accident by the time they graduate high school.
–Car crashes are the number 1 killer of Americans age 3 to 25. The crash rate of teens is three times higher than any other age group.
That is a lot of teens.
I have many years before my child is learning to drive. I have two goddaughters who are much closer to driving, and I’ll definitely be talking to my best friend before her girls are taking the driver’s education classes (and getting their learner’s permits).
The National Safety Council recommends several guidelines for parents and new drivers (before they get their license – when they have permits).
–A minimum of 30 minutes of practice driving each week. At least 50 hours of supervised driving hours (and 10 of those at night.)
–Practice driving with only a parent in the car.
–No passengers under age 21 for a year when driving on their own.
–No cell phone use for drivers under the age of 18.
–Know what to do after a a crash to avoid extra injury, see 7 Mistakes to Avoid After a Car Accident for more help
–Keep night driving to a minimum for the first six months of driving. They recommend no driving between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
I can’t say that I disagree with any of their guidelines. In South Carolina, they only require 6 months between getting a learner’s permit and a driver’s license (the National Safety Council recommends waiting a year between the two.) South Carolina also doesn’t have any restrictions on cell phone use. North Carolina has banned texting while driving, and I not-so-secretly wish states would restrict the full use of cell phones while driving.
At driveithome.org, parents can sign up to receive weekly driving practice tips and suggestions via e-mail, and print, discuss and sign a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement. If you have a teen, take a moment to visit the site, download the agreement and talk to your teen.
I plan on printing the agreement and giving it to several people that can use it right now. My son will be lucky if he’s allowed to drive before he graduates high school!
Overall, the event was so informative and fun. I even won a gas card in a drawing at the end of the presentation! If you’re interested in attending one of the Drive It Home events, be sure to check out driveithome.org to see if it’s coming to a city near you.
What tips do you have for younger drivers?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.