More than 16,000 teens have been involved in a crash this year IN COLORADO — 57 EVERY DAY!
National Teen Driving Safety week is October 15-21, 2023, and provides a crucial opportunity for parents, guardians and young drivers to discuss the life-and-death importance of driving safely..
In Colorado, 61 teen drivers have died so far this year on the road, up 53% from this time last year. Also concerning is the number of fatal crashes that involve teen drivers. So far this year, 73 roadway fatalities have involved a teen driver, up 33% from this time last year.
CDOT emphasizes the need for parents and guardians to play an active role in shaping their teen’s choices behind the wheel. To help protect your teen and guide them toward responsible driving, here are some key strategies:
==Have conversations: Initiate open and ongoing discussions with your teen about driving laws and safe driving practices. Your guidance as a parent can make a significant difference.
==Know the laws: Familiarize yourself with Colorado’s nighttime driving restrictions, passenger restrictions, and graduated driver licensing (GDL) rules. Enforcing these laws with your teen promotes safer driving habits.
==Be a role model: Set an example by consistently practicing safe driving habits yourself — including driving distraction free and obeying the speed limit. Your teen is more likely to emulate your behavior.
==Address cell phone use: Encourage your teen to put away their phones while driving, designate a passenger as a texter or navigator, or pull over safely before using a mobile device. Remind them that texting while driving is six times more dangerous than drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA).
==Promote responsible choices: Discuss the risks of impaired driving, seat belt non-compliance, distracted driving, speeding, and the influence of passengers with your teen. Emphasize the consequences of not following these rules.
Parents are the number one influence on a teen driver’s safety. Self-reported surveys show that teens whose parents impose driving restrictions and set good examples typically engage in less risky driving and are involved in fewer crashes. CDOT urges parents and guardians to be a good example and get involved in their driving habits from the beginning and stay involved for the duration of their teen years.
==For more information about Colorado’s GDL laws and teen driving, visit CDOT’s teen driving webpage here.
== You can also see the National Safety Council’s ARTICLE. on teens.
==Note, that teens who texted were also more likely to not wear seat belts… You might mention that in the conversation — Tragically, seat belt use is lowest among teen drivers. In fact, the majority of teenagers involved in fatal crashes are unbuckled—in 2019, 45% of teen drivers who died were unbuckled.