Teen Driver Safety Week: 5 Strategies to Teach Your Latino Teen about the Risks of the Road


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Parents know that teenagers have a lot to teach us. Many parents can send text messages, check e-mail on our cell phones or use a MP3 device because of their teens.

Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 14-20, is parents’ turn to return the favor. This week, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) encourages parents to teach teens ways that they can be safer drivers.

For Latino parents, this teaching is particularly important, as car crashes are the leading cause of death for Hispanic teens.

Luckily, that’s a statistic you can change. Here are five strategies:

1. Set a Good Example: If you’re telling your teen to follow safe driving behaviors, so should you. That means always wearing your seat belt, keeping your cell phone in your glove compartment and avoiding other distractions when you drive.

2. Create and Enforce Driving Rules: Discuss what it means to be a safe driver with your teen and set rules for when they’re behind the wheel. The rules should also have consequences that are enforced. For example, if your daughter drives without a seat belt, she can’t attend her friend’s Quinceañera.

3. Avoid Adding Temptation: Staying in touch with your teen is important, but remember that your call, e-mail or text message can be a distraction. In fact, drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. Don’t take that risk. Avoid reaching out to your teen when they’re on the road.

4. Learn the Traffic Safety Laws in Your State: Many states have Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws that ban young drivers from using cell phones and texting while driving. Make sure your teen driver understands that violating these laws may mean having a delayed or suspended license.

5. Take a Pledge Together: Print the pledge form and have every family members commit to driving safe. Sharing and keeping this pledge together is also a great example to set for younger children.

To learn more, go here.

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