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Parenting the Teenage Driver: Facts & an Opportunity for Parents

May 14, 2019


Some information on teen driving and then an invitation to attend my workshop on this topic.

Who among us does not remember what the beginning of summer felt like when we were teenagers? A break from school, from study, and so many opportunities to have fun with friends. Because of my interest and work in the area of teenagers and safety, I once had a teenager call me “Dr. Downer.” Fair enough. Here I go: Summer also means that we enter what safety advocates call the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer for teenagers. This period begins on Memorial Day. Here are the relevant facts. 

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teenagers. After several years of declines in teen motor vehicle deaths, they have been rising since 2013.
  • Teenagers have the highest crash rate of any age group.
  • During the summer months, teenagers are 26% more likely to die in a car crash than during the other months of the year.
  • 60% of teen crashes are caused by distracted driving. Distracted driving due to cell phone use is familiar to us. However, the top distraction for teen drivers is the presence of peer passengers. The more passengers, the higher the risk there will be a crash and then more fatalities or injuries because there are more people in the crash. Please note: The risk that there will be a motor vehicle crash rises sharply with teenage passengers in the car with a teenage driver.
  • Teenagers are more likely to die in car crashes and they also have the highest rates of being involved in crashes that kill others, including their passengers, pedestrians, and occupants of other vehicles. 

I want to encourage parents to act to prevent these often-avoidable tragedies. I invite you to visit my website on this topic (I make no money from the website) at And on Tuesday, May 28, I will offer my talk, Parenting the Teenage Driver. I have been giving this workshop for 20 years. It is ideal for parents of teenagers age 14-16, but all are welcome. Bring friends!  Also, yes, you are welcome to bring your teenagers! We will meet 6:00-7:30 PM in the Youth Room at Prince of Peace School. In order to have a set of materials for everyone, please register at Questions? [email protected].


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