National Teen Driver Safety Week - October 17th, 2018
For newly licensed drivers, getting behind the wheel for the first time can be very exciting for teens, but very worrisome for parents. At Barrows Insurance Agency, we recognize that Massachusetts teen drivers are at risk and need extra care, support and guidance before getting behind the wheel.
National Teen Driver Safety week always falls in the third week of October and is an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of teen driver safety initiatives. Congress established National Teen Driver Safety Week in 2007 after a series of tragic accidents involving Pennsylvania High School students. These tragedies occurred by inexperience and driver error due to the lack of awareness on distraction such as fatigue, speeding, cell phone usage and driving with multiple teen passengers.
In the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, young driver safety is at the top of list. There are some specific tips new drivers can take to stay safe when they get ready to turn that key and put their foot on the gas.
Some tips include:
Slow down- speeding is a major cause of teen driving deaths, and those in the Junior Operator License category can have their license suspended on their first offense.
ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEATBELT- having a properly fastened seat belt can save a driver’s life (also a safety law in Mass.). According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 56% of teens who died in crashes in 2009 were NOT wearing their seat belt.
Don’t drive tired/feeling fatigued- trying to operate a vehicle with little sleep can also put your life at risk. According to the NHTSA, roughly 100,000 crashes each year are due to drowsy driving. This caused about 1,550 deaths.
Night restrictions- young drivers are prohibited from using their vehicles from midnight to 5 a.m., until they turn 18 years old.
Passenger limits- for the first 6 months of driving, operators under the age of 18 cannot drive with passengers who are also younger than 18 years old, unless, however it is a sibling.
Mobile device ban- drivers under 18 years old cannot use a cell phones and texting (THIS SHOULD APPLY TO ALL) while operating a vehicle for any reason other than informing authorities of an emergency, another Massachusetts safety law.
That feeling when you’re sitting in the drivers seat after you have finished your road test, waiting for your instructor to give you that piece of paper that says “Congratulations” is one feeling you will never forget. BUT, in order to hold on to that rewarding feeling, make sure you follow the rules of the road! Happy & Safe Driving!