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.
There is convincing evidence that individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at heightened risk for unsafe driving behaviors, including teens. Despite a “perfect storm” of inexperience, adolescence and ADHD that increases crash risk, only emerging research about potential interventions exists for these teens. This can be frustrating for both parents and clinicians, like myself, who frequently discuss the risk of driving with teens with ADHD but have little information to offer about specific ways to keep them safe. In an editorial published today in JAMA Pediatrics, my CIRP@CHOP colleagues Flaura Winston and Catherine McDonald address this need head-on.
While motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens, we have made great strides in reducing the number of crashes involving teens behind the wheel. According to a new report released today by CIRP@CHOP and State Farm®, the number of teen driver-related fatalities declined 47 percent in the past six years from a total of 5,889 in 2005 to a total of 3,150 in 2011.