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According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 6,000 teens die each year as a result of car crashes. Cars are the number one killer of teens in America. But a recent national survey shows that many people underestimate the dangers novice drivers face. When asked, 56 percent of Americans suggested drug abuse as the leading health threat to teenagers. Only 13 percent correctly identified teen driving crashes as the number one threat.
Click here for the 2002 fact sheet on young drivers in America. Sadly, the numbers make for gloomy reading.
As has been mentioned on other pages, the 'Drive and Stay Alive' website is being developed in parallel with a book on safe driving for new and experienced drivers. If you wish to pre-register your interest in obtaining this highly-detailed book, please copy the following e-mail address into your own e-mail program and give us your own contact details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Unfortunately, the USA has a terrible record for the rate of road accident casualties (per 100,000 population) but there is much that can be done to reduce the horrendous death toll and we hope to play a part in that reduction.
As this page develops, you will find an increasing amount of information here to help parents of young or inexperienced drivers with vital and potentially life-saving decisions in respect of kids learning to drive and surviving those first few dangerous years.
Parental rules are highlighted in the results of a survey by Britain's RoSPA, where not only the parents but also their teenage sons and daughters were quizzed about those rules. This is worth reading, both for ideas and for background knowledge. Click here. (PDF)
Often, parents are unaware of the risks their kids face when driving, and the limits of driver education. Research says driver ed doesn't reduce crash rates; it must be boosted with many hours of practice over a long period of time. Read the article: 'The Deadliest Drivers Of All', from USA Weekend.
We also have a link to a parents' page in the UK, where it has to be said (with no disrespect to American people whatsoever) that the standards of driving are higher and the ratio of deaths is much lower than here in the USA, despite there being smaller cars, faster speed limits and more densely populated roads (i.e. many more cars per mile of road). This link shows that the dangers with young drivers are, none-the-less, universal and that they are virtually identical in many countries. Incidentally, the British use the word 'tuition' to mean the actual training. It is not a reference to financial cost. Click here to read the webpage.
You will see that three of the key points on the UK page are:
driver-ZED ("Zero Errors Driving") is an innovative, high-interest CD-ROM, from the AAA Foundation, that helps American teens become safer drivers.
Full details here. (December 2004)
The BSM has urged the UK Government to make night-time driving lessons a compulsory component for passing a driving test.
Read why, here. (Oct.2004)
DaimlerChrysler have brought out a quiz for the parents of young drivers Check it out here.
Who Should Teach My Kid To Drive? (Article coming soon)
IMPORTANT POINT: Research is increasingly showing that the so-called "advanced driving courses" that take place on racetracks or private roads, at which young drivers are taught "skid control" or how to get out of an emergency situation, are counter-productive. Statistics are showing that young drivers who attend such courses actually have more crashes than kids who don't do the courses. The reason, unfortunately, is reasonably obvious: If a young driver thinks he/she can handle an emergency, the tendency is for less caution, more speed, or whatever. Proper "advanced driving" is complex and highly skilled. It involves learning to anticipate danger and avoid getting into a bad situation in the first place. This is infinitely preferable and vastly safer than merely hoping to get out of a crisis after it has started.
If you have any other unanswered questions about your own or your kid's safety, please Contact Us and we'll try to help