POSTED BY: BOB KNOTTS
We usually avoid citing lots of numbers in these blogs — statistics can be confusing and, let’s face it, just plain boring. But National Teen Driver Safety Week calls for a few figures to make our point. First, though, a little background. Our great Humanity Project sponsor, State Farm, was one of the major organizations that worked with Congress to designate the third week in October as a national moment to discuss teen driver safety. Of course, State Farm also helped us to create our I Care teen driver safety program, now with a book for teens and another book for parents.
Because of our unique program, we proudly support National Teen Driver Safety Week. Which brings us back to those numbers we alluded to earlier. Here’s a statistic worth sharing, based on a recent study: Only 25% of parents have talked seriously with their teen drivers about how to handle an automobile, even though auto crashes remain the leading killer of teenagers. That’s shocking, really.
At the same time, the danger is getting worse for many teen drivers. A couple more stats to make our meaning clear: In Florida, where the Humanity Project is based, teen driver fatalities jumped by nearly 25% from 2013 to 2014. That’s according to numbers provided by the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition and Florida SADD. As you might expect, teen driver crashes also increased during that same period.
So this blog really is a plea to the adults who visit our website. Parents, grandparents, educators, counselors, nonprofit staffers … and anyone else who lives or works with teenagers of driving age. Please sit down and share your motoring experiences, with a few tips on how to drive more carefully. Obviously, these should include advice about avoiding distractions, looking far down the road, wearing a seat belt, keeping the number of passengers to a minimum. Oh, and you can pass along our I Care web address too:www.thehumanityproject.com/icare. Our program was created by teens, for teens … and for parents.
As with most tough social problems, dangerous teen driving requires many, many of us to work together toward solutions. Not only during National Teen Driver Safety Week, but every week of the year.