Teen Driver Safety

A Pink Decal to Prevent Teen Crashes?

What a difference a few years make. When New Jersey implemented its first-in-the-nation decal provision as part of its Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program on May 1, 2010, it ignited a firestorm of protest from some parents and state legislators. Known as Kyleigh’s Law, it requires all 16- to 20-year-olds holding a learner’s permit or intermediate license to display a reflective decal on the front and back license plates of vehicles they are driving. Initial evidence from research conducted by CHOP shows that the decals work to reduce teen crash risk. A couple in Maine have created a pink decal of their own to help keep teens safe in memory of their daughter, Taylor, 15, who was killed in a crash with an inexperienced teen driver behind the wheel.

New Resource Alert: Teen Driver Safety Toolset

In conjunction with Temple University’s Department of Public Health, the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) recently released a set of Public Health Learning Modules aimed at advancing public knowledge of policy initiatives, existing and emerging research, and transformative models. Allison E. Curry, PhD, MPH, director of epidemiology and biostatistics at CIRP, developed a module on injury prevention, targeting teen driving.

Taking Action for National Teen Driver Safety Week

It’s early November and time to give thanks to the schools, student clubs, and community leaders that organized activities during this year’s National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW). The week, which ran from October 20-26, spurred thousands of schools and communities across the country to use NTDSW as a platform for promoting teen driver safety.

Joining with NHTSA to Kick Off National Teen Driver Safety Week

Happy National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW)! Today we are with David Strickland, the Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at a 10 a.m. (EST) press conference at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The event officially kicks off a week of activities that aim to start dialogues about teen driver safety amongst families, in schools, and in communities. NTDSW is now in its seventh year.

Manage the Driving Transition from Supervised Learner to Independent Learner

When teens pass the behind-the-wheel driving test some may incorrectly believe they’re equally skilled as other “licensed” drivers. This makes it difficult for teens to understand why certain activities are restricted during the early months of licensure. Consider framing the intermediate period of GDL as a learner permit “plus,” not a full license “minus.” By passing the behind-the-wheel test, teens have demonstrated that they’re ready to practice independently. The intermediate period of GDL establishes a supportive framework for them to continue to learn without the additional pressures and dangers associated with full licensure.

National Teen Driver Safety Week – 11 Days & Counting

I belong to an important network of educators, community leaders, parents, teens, and organizations, both large and small. Our mission? To reduce teen driver crashes, the #1 cause of death for this age group. We are now gearing up for National Teen Driver Safety Week -- now in its 7th year and only 11 days away – and the momentum is building.

Where to Start for Teen Drivers? With Parents

At CIRP@CHOP, we explore the behavioral aspects of strengthening this bond between parents and teens. From teens, we frequently hear that they take cues from their parents for what is appropriate driving behavior. Likewise, parents express concerns about not knowing where to start to help their teens become safe skilled drivers. In support of the theme for National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 20-26) -- It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving -- I want to share practical tips for parents on modeling safe driving behaviors as a place to start to help their teens:

Make the Most of GDL's Learner Phase

As a developmental psychologist, I am thrilled that this year’s theme for National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 20-26) is It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving. This theme emphasizes that research and practice efforts should consider the family unit as opposed to focusing on parents and teens in isolation.

Raise Awareness of Four Risky Teen Driving Behaviors

Research shows that while a teen is learning to drive and during the first year of independent driving, it takes a parent and teen working together to develop a skilled safe driver. This year’s theme for National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 20-26), ‘It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving,' drives home this all important connection. As a traffic injury researcher and parent of three teens, I encourage you to use the ‘It Takes Two’ theme to raise awareness of four risky driving behaviors during NTDSW.

Understanding Teens' Driving Skill Deficits

After six hours of behind-the-wheel driver’s ed training and a full year of parent-supervised driving instruction, my daughter, Amanda, earned her probationary license in late August--just in time for school and her senior year. Like many parents, my husband and I tried our best to be supportive throughout her driving journey, but sometimes it wasn’t easy. Too many times we would press down on the imaginary brake when she almost hit a parked car or sped up for no apparent reason in a residential neighborhood and say, “C’mon, pay attention to your driving!” What we didn’t know is that her perceived inattention wasn’t from daydreaming or looking at boys, it was from a lack of knowledge. For Amanda to get it right, we needed to actually teach her how to moderate her speed for various conditions and then practice this skill over and over.

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