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5 to Drive campaign helps parents protect teen drivers



Teen driver safety week is October 18-24, 2015

This week many states and national organizations are joining with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to promote the “5 to Drive” campaign during National Teen Driver Safety Week. The campaign aims to help parents talk to their teen drivers about the rules of the road. The “5 to Drive” campaign will give parents the tools they need to keep their teen drivers safe.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for U.S. teens 15 to 19 years old. In 2013, 2,614 teen (15-19 year old) passenger vehicle drivers were involved in fatal crashes.

The “5 to Drive” campaign addresses the five most dangerous and deadly behaviors for teen drivers. The idea behind the campaign is to give parents the words to use when they talk with their teens about the rules of the road. NHTSA’s website, www.safercar.gov/parents, has detailed information and statistics about the five rules designed to help save the lives of teen drivers.

The “5 to Drive” rules for parents to share with their teens are:

No Drinking and Driving – almost one out of five (19 percent) of the young drivers (15 to 19 years old) involved in fatal crashes had been drinking, even though they were too young to legally buy or possess alcohol.

Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time. Front Seat and Back. – 64 percent of all the young (13- to 19-year-old) passengers of teen (15- to 19-year-old) drivers who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2013 weren’t restrained.

Put It Down. One Text or Call Could Wreck It All– The age group of 15 to 19 years old has the highest percentage of drivers who were distracted by cell phone use and involved in a fatal crash. In 2013, 318 people were killed in crashes that involved a distracted teen driver.

Stop Speeding Before It Stops You – In 2013, almost one-third (29 percent) of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were speeding.

No More Than One Passenger at a Time. – The risk of a fatal crash goes up with each additional passenger.

Teen drivers need to follow these rules and any other restrictions outlined in the graduated driver licensing (GDL) law. Parents need to outline rules and explain to their teens the deadly consequences of unsafe driving practices. The “5 to Drive” campaign can help parents start that conversation.

For more information about Teen Driver Safety Week and the “5 to Drive” campaign, please visit www.safercar.gov/parents.

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Forget something? 


CAR-Forget-somethingDrivers forget where they park and more

(BPT) – Although our everyday routines can be simple and second nature, there’s only so much we can remember. And when it comes to cars and car maintenance, many Americans frequently forget routine tasks, according to the latest Gauge Index from Hankook Tire.

When running errands, we park our cars, walk into the store, check our lists, pay for what we need, get back in our cars and drive to the next stop. But most Americans have found themselves wandering around a parking lot because they can’t find their car, according to Hankook Tire’s Seasonal Gauge Index. In fact, the Gauge revealed that 55 percent of Americans have forgotten where they parked at least once.

Hankook also found that a significant number of drivers have gotten into trouble after parking by locking their keys in the car. Forty-one percent of Americans have had to call a locksmith or find a spare set of keys to get back on the road.

When you are in the thick of daily errands, there is likely a need for a fuel stop. The stress that can come with the overwhelming daily list of things to do can distract you from the little things you need to do, like closing the gas cap. One third of Americans have forgotten to put the gas cap back on after fueling up, according to the Gauge Index. Further, more than a quarter of Americans have a tendency to drive off with items on the top of their cars such as groceries, a cup of coffee or even a purse.

For those who forget how to get where they need to go, the Gauge Index revealed that 40 percent of drivers use a GPS device to get them headed in the right direction.

All of this is a reminder to slow down and remember the little, albeit important details of driving, and make sure that your car is in proper working condition.

Keep your tires cool and properly filled. Heat can take its toll on tires, so try to park in the shade as often as possible. Filling tires with the correct air pressure also will help keep the temperature down within the serviceable range. Remember to check tire pressure monthly.

Rotate your tires. Each tire can wear unevenly, and tires on the front axle tend to wear differently than tires on the rear axle. Regular tire rotation ensures more even wear. Tires should be rotated about every 5,000 miles.

Choose the right tire. While we can forget where we parked, we can also forget what kind of tires are on our car. Make sure your car is running on the right, season-appropriate tires.

For more info visit www.hankooktireusa.com.

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Safety First with Fall Car Care


CAR-Fall-car-care-Safety-First1-webCAR-Fall-car-care-Safety-First2-webWhat you should know to get ready for winter

(Family Features) Conducting routine maintenance on your vehicle is necessary to maintain optimal performance and prevent costly repairs. As colder weather approaches, and with it the potential for treacherous road conditions, giving certain areas of your car special attention can also protect your safety.

“Getting your vehicle ready for winter while temperatures are still mild is a proactive approach to preventive maintenance that helps ensure safety and reliability when severe winter weather strikes,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

The following tips will help you learn how to care for the systems and features most likely to affect your safety as winter approaches. Learn about the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair, and order a free copy of the council’s Car Care Guide, at www.carcare.org.


The brake system is a car’s most important safety system. A faulty brake system may impede your ability to safely slow your vehicle in inclement driving conditions or avoid an accident. Brakes sustain normal wear and eventually need to be replaced for both performance and safety reasons. Ignoring routine maintenance and letting brake pads wear too thin can lead to costly rotor and drum replacement, in addition to compromising your ability to execute a sudden stop safely.

  • Have your complete brake system thoroughly inspected annually and replace equipment as needed.
  • If your car is pulling to the left or right, or if you hear odd noises when you apply the brakes, you should have your brakes inspected. Other warning signs include an illuminated brake warning light, brake grabbing, low pedal feel, vibration, hard pedal feel and squealing.
  • Don’t overlook the parking brake, which also may require adjustment or replacement parts.

Wheels and Tires

When roads become wet or icy, the right wheels and tires can help ensure you have the traction you need to maintain control. Maintaining tire balance and wheel alignment reduces tire wear and improves handling and fuel economy. Tire replacement is necessary if the tread depth is below the minimum legal requirement, or if the sidewalls are severely cracked or punctured. In addition, normal wear and road conditions can take their toll on your car’s steering and suspension system and disrupt the alignment, which in turn reduces optimum handling.

  • Use the “penny test” to check your tread; if you see Lincoln’s head above the tread, you are ready for new tires.
  • Have your car’s alignment checked at least annually or at the first sign of improper handling or uneven wear.
  • Check inflation pressure at least once a month (including the spare) and once per week in the winter.
  • Rotate and balance tires every 6,000 miles to avoid accelerated wear on shock absorbers and struts.


Your battery should be securely mounted, with connections clean, tight and corrosion-free. If the battery is three years old or more, it should be tested and replaced if necessary.


Headlights play a major role in safe driving; the chances for accidents increase if you can’t see or be seen. The lighting system provides nighttime visibility, signals and alerts other drivers, and supplies light for viewing instruments and the vehicle’s interior.

  • If there is any doubt about whether or not your headlights should be on, turn them on.
  • Keep headlights, tail lights and signal lights clean. External dirt and debris can dim operational lights, making it difficult to be seen by others.
  • Make sure your headlights are properly aimed. If they aren’t, headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.
  • Don’t overdrive your headlights. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area; otherwise you are creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle.
  • Replace dimming, rapidly blinking or non-functioning lights immediately, but check first to ensure a loose or faulty fuse isn’t the source of the problem.

Windshield Wipers

The wiper system keeps excessive water, snow and dirt from building up on the windshield, maintaining clear visibility. Many factors can accelerate the replacement of wipers, including operating conditions, frequency of use, material and type of wipers and weather.

  • In general, replace blades every six months or when cracked, cut, torn, streaking or chattering.
  • Be aware that some vehicles have two washer fluid reservoirs. Check levels monthly and use washer fluid only; do not use water.

    Maintenance Checklist

    Whether you do it yourself or take your car to a professional service technician, the Car Care Council recommends these basic maintenance procedures to keep your vehicle operating at its best:

    1. Check all fluids, including engine oil, power steering, brake and transmission, as well as windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

    2. Check the hoses and belts for signs of damage or wear.

    3. Check the battery and replace if necessary.

    4. Check the brake system annually and have the brake linings, rotors and drums inspected at each oil change.

    5. Inspect the exhaust system for leaks, damage and broken supports or hangers if there is an unusual noise.

    6. Check the heating, ventilating and air conditioning system, as proper heating and cooling performance is critical for interior comfort and for safety reasons such as defrosting.

    7. Inspect the steering and suspension system annually, including shock absorbers, struts and chassis parts such as ball joints, tie rod ends and other related components.

    8. Check the tires, including tire pressure and tread. Uneven wear indicates a need for wheel alignment. Tires should also be checked for bulges and bald spots.

    9. Check the wipers and lighting, including both interior and exterior lighting, and replace worn wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during precipitation.

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Four tire tips for teen drivers


(BPT) – Getting a driver’s license is a pivotal moment for many teens, and with the privilege of driving comes greater freedom and independence. For parents, this can be both a moment of great pride and overwhelming anxiety.

In 2012, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that drivers 19-years-old and younger were more likely to be involved in motor vehicle collisions than any other driver on the road. According to NHTSA, teens are three times more likely to get into an accident than drivers over the age of 20.

It’s not surprising that teen drivers fall into a higher collision risk category given their inexperience. Additionally, teens are more likely to speed, text, drive without a seat belt and they typically maintain a closer following distance than more seasoned drivers.

“Taking the time to talk to teens about their driving practices can help prevent accidents,” says Bob Abram, product planning manager for Yokohama Tire Corporation, maker of a variety of truck and car tires. “Teaching teens about proper vehicle maintenance, especially tires, is also important and often overlooked.”

Abram says tire maintenance is crucial because tires have an enormous effect on braking, steering, comfort and handling. “Unfortunately, tires are not always top-of-mind when it comes to routine vehicle upkeep. When tires are inflated appropriately and wheel alignment adjusted correctly, the driver has better control. Improper alignment causes uneven tread wear and reduces the life of a tire.”

Underinflated tires can also increase the stopping distance of a vehicle, warns Abram. “Taking care of your tires properly can help prevent skidding, aid in emergency stops and traffic avoidance maneuvers, as well as provide more traction on wet roads.”

Abram reiterates that parents should teach teens about tire care to optimize vehicle control and maximize safety. Here are a few of his rules of thumb concerning tire care:

  • Tires must be replaced before the tread wears down below 2/32 of an inch. A quick and easy tread test involves placing a penny into the grooves of the tire. If Lincoln’s head is completely visible, the tires should be replaced.
  • Check tire pressure at least once a month. Consult the vehicle’s owner’s manual or placard on driver’s door to determine proper tire pressure. Tire pressure should be checked when the tires are cold.
  • Alignment should be checked at least once a year or if the vehicle is pulling to one side to avoid uneven wear on tire tread. Tire balance should also be monitored.
  • Regular rotation of tires promotes even wearing of tread. Tires should be rotated every 5,000 to 8,000 miles.

For more tire care and safety tips visit www.yokohamatire.com or www.rma.org.

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Close Calls

Most rear-end crashes occur in the afternoon when school is letting out.

Most rear-end crashes occur in the afternoon when school is letting out.

(NAPS)—At least 1,500 people a year could avoid getting injured or killed on the road, government and university researchers say, if road rage could be eliminated.

How to stop it: One way to do that, according to study.com, is to reduce tailgating, especially by young drivers.

The Hartford Courant found the most common “contributing factor” noted by police in crashes caused by new drivers was following another vehicle too closely.

Most crashes where tailgating was the primary causal factor happened between 2 and 3 p.m., about the time high school classes are done for the day.

In other words, the typical crash caused by a 16- or 17-year-old driver doesn’t involve a car careening off the road during a boozy, late-night joyride.

The Cause: Tailgating is so high on the list of accident causes because stopping involves more than just applying the brakes. It also includes perception time (realization that you need to stop) and reaction time (moving your foot to the brake pedal). At 60 mph, by the time the vehicle begins to slow down, it will have traveled more than 130 feet.

Most drivers know they should maintain a minimum of three seconds between a car and the vehicle in front. However, depending on factors such as vehicle condition, size and type, speed, time of day, road and weather conditions, and visibility, the time it takes to fully stop can vary dramatically. For example, a wet road can quadruple the time required to fully stop, and increasing speed from 35 mph to 55 mph nearly doubles the required stopping distance.

What you can do: If you find that another vehicle is tailgating you, remain calm and don’t let ego get in the way of safety. Do not slam on your brakes, honk your horn or use angry gestures. Instead, if there is an alternate lane, safely move over so the other car can pass. If you can’t move over, slowly increase the distance between your car and the one in front of you. That way, if the tailgater hits you, you’re less likely to hit another car.

Learn More: For further information on what to do if someone is tailgating visit www.accidentattorneys.org.

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AC or windows down: secrets to better summer fuel economy


(BPT) – Summer is peak travel season for most Americans. Those hoping to spend less on fuel and more on fun can find ways to stretch their travel budgets with better vehicle care and use.

One hotly (pun intended) debated topic during summer driving season is whether it is more fuel efficient to use the air conditioner (AC) or roll down the windows and catch the breeze to stay cool.

To settle the AC versus windows question, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee compared the performance of a Ford Explorer and a Toyota Corolla. It’s probably no surprise that fuel consumption was the lowest when AC was off and the windows were up. But that’s not a great option on a 95-degree day.

When driving at speeds slower than 75 mph, researchers found it was more efficient to roll down the windows. At speeds faster than 75 mph, it was more efficient to run the AC in the Corolla, but not the Explorer, likely because the larger cabin was harder to cool.

Edmunds.com experts found similar results with a Toyota Tundra, which got almost ten percent better gas mileage at 65 mph with the windows down and AC off. In Consumer Reports tests with a Honda Accord, using air conditioning while driving at 65 mph reduced gas mileage by more than 3 mpg, while the effect of opening the windows at 65 mph was not measurable.

So deciding whether to choose AC or open windows depends on driving speed, wind speed, terrain, vehicle size and aerodynamics. Thankfully, other ways to improve fuel efficiency are less complicated.

Good vehicle maintenance is the best way to improve fuel economy, says Andrew Hamilton, technical services and quality manager for Cenex brand lubricants. “To maintain your vehicle’s top fuel efficiency, perform regular maintenance, including oil changes and replacing the air filter and spark plugs,” says Hamilton.

Use the manufacturer recommended engine oil to get the most from your engine. “Using the wrong oil viscosity can reduce fuel efficiency by five to ten percent,” says Hamilton. “Use the correct oil grade and choose an engine oil that contains friction modifiers, such as a full-synthetic oil like Cenex Maxtron.”

Finally, don’t forget tire care. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that 1.25 billion gallons of gas are wasted every year by driving on underinflated tires. “Properly inflated tires last longer, reduce braking distance and improve fuel efficiency,” says Hamilton. The inflation guidelines can be found in the vehicle’s owner’s manual or on the driver’s side door.

For more gas-saving tips and to nominate someone to win free fuel, visit Cenex.com.

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What’s the real cost of that auto repair? 


How to know if you’re paying the best price

(BPT) Do you take your car’s health for granted? Only when the check engine light comes on do you realize how important a fully functional vehicle is to your daily life. Feelings of fear, regret and anxiety often rush in: “Will my car break down?” “Should I have gotten my oil changed sooner?” Can I trust that I’m receiving a fair price for repairs?”

These are all reasonable concerns, according to Joe Wiesenfelder, Cars.com executive editor.

“According to Mintel, on average, drivers spend nearly $1,000 per year maintaining their cars, and that number will likely only increase as the average age of vehicles continues to get older,” says Wiesenfelder. “Even more important, a recent survey by Cars.com and Toluna found that one in three drivers don’t trust that the prices mechanics quote to them are fair. ‘Expensive’ and ‘stressful’ are the top words that come to mind for many consumers when they’re thinking about car maintenance and repairs.”

Knowledge is power, but for many consumers, car maintenance can be shrouded in mystery. Many don’t know which mechanic to go to, how much to pay or if the price they’re being quoted is accurate. Thankfully, tools and resources are available to help drivers confidently navigate the automotive service and repair process. Here are a few expert tips, resources and busted myths to arm you with the information you need to make informed, confident decisions about car service:

1. You probably don’t need to change your oil every 3,000 miles. Due to technology advancements, many auto manufacturers recommend changing oil at intervals of 7,500 miles or more for new cars.

2. Does a dirty air filter really hurt performance? A clogged air filter won’t significantly affect fuel economy, but it can reduce acceleration from 6 to 11 percent, according to a U.S. Department of Energy Study. For that reason, it’s a good idea to periodically visually check the engine air filter.

3. Cars.com has launched a new “Service & Repair” feature that provides a fair price estimate for different types of service, helping ensure drivers never overpay. The online tool also helps drivers find local service providers and offers reviews from actual customers to help them find a quality mechanic.

4. Drivers expect the tires that come with their new vehicle to last a long time, but tire life depends on many factors, including: the quality of the tire, its treadwear rating, whether it is an all-season, summer performance or winter tire, the type of vehicle and where and how it is driven.

5. Service engine? If the check engine light comes on and has a steady illumination, that indicates a possibly serious issue, and it should be dealt with quickly by a mechanic. If the check engine light is flashing, find a place to park the vehicle and turn the engine off as quickly as you safely can. Ignoring your check engine light increases the likelihood of additional problems.

For more information, tips and to learn more about Cars.com’s Service & Repair tool, visit www.cars.com/auto-repair.

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Six must-have auto products for the summer


(BPT) – Summer is a great time to get up off the couch and soak up the sun. As you stock up on sunscreen and prepare to protect your skin from the direct sunlight, be sure to pick up products to protect your vehicle as well. Whether you’re taking the car out for a summer road trip, a day at the park or just running errands around town, the warm summer weather can have an effect on your ride.

The heat is not the only thing to look out for this season. Sand, dirt and water can easily find their way inside your vehicle as you spend more time at the beach and outside. There are thousands of aftermarket products and accessories available to protect, preserve and personalize your car, truck, or SUV as you head into summer, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). In fact, Americans spend $33 billion annually on products to modify and customize their cars, trucks and SUVs, according to SEMA.

Here are a few must-have products to get you through the summer:

*Wax: The sun, insects, airborne particles and even dirt can be damaging to your paint finish. Protect your car’s paint and keep it looking shiny and clean during summer by giving it a wax. Wax products come in a variety of different forms and create a barrier to shield your car and preserve its finish. Whether it’s a paste, liquid or combined with a wash, car wax is an easy and efficient way to protect your vehicle in the summer.

*All-weather floor mats: As you start to enjoy your favorite outdoor activities, you’ll notice the sandy towels and muddy shoes begin to take a toll on your car’s interior. You’re left with soiled carpet and hard-to-clean stains. Owners can protect their floorboard with an aftermarket floor mat. Available for almost every car, truck or SUV, a custom-fitted, all-weather floor mat will trap foreign particles and protect your investment.

*Custom fitted seat covers: Spills, stains and snags are prone to happen in your vehicle as kids and passengers enjoy their summer snacks and drag their sand buckets and skateboards in and out of the back seat. Custom fitted seat covers are relatively inexpensive, easy to install and provide durability to your seats and headrests. They come in thousands of colors and fabric combinations, giving you the ability to truly personalize your car, truck or SUV.

*Wheels and tires: Replace your winter tires with a set of wheels better suited for warmer weather. Snow tires are designed for better traction in the cold and will not provide the same handling capabilities as a summer or all-season tire. If you don’t have winter tires, consider checking your tread wear to determine if it’s time to replace them. There are hundreds of different wheels and tires available to choose from that will increase performance, prevent overheating and improve your vehicle’s handling during the summertime. Check your local tire dealer for more information.

*Window film: Block the sun and reduce the heat in your car with window film, also referred to as window tint. A variety of different shades are available when tinting the windows of your car, truck or SUV. Window film can protect your interior from sun damage, reduce heat and offer safety by preventing your glass from shattering.

*Roof racks, bike racks and cargo boxes: Make your outdoor summer activities easier and more accessible by storing your bikes and surfboards on a roof rack. If you’re headed to the beach for the day, you can transport your boogie boards, firewood and coolers in a cargo box on the roof of your vehicle. There are a variety of different sizes and styles of cargo carriers to select from.

These simple, inexpensive products can make your summer more enjoyable by protecting and preserving your car, truck or SUV. Visit your local auto retailer to learn about the different aftermarket products and accessories available.

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Don’t forget to replace your vehicle’s brake hardware

For a few extra dollars, car owners can enhance vehicle safety and protect their investment in brake pads and shoes by replacing their vehicle’s brake hardware.

For a few extra dollars, car owners can enhance vehicle safety and protect their investment in brake pads and shoes by replacing their vehicle’s brake hardware.

(NAPS)—Brakes are a critical component for maintaining vehicle safety. Whether it’s trying to stop your vehicle on an icy, snow-packed road or slowing down on a rain-soaked highway, properly functioning brakes are key to maintaining control of the vehicle.

However, brake wear can compromise vehicle performance and, ultimately, threaten vehicle safety. AAA encourages motorists to have a certified technician inspect their brakes to ensure they are ready for whatever Mother Nature has to offer.

In an article featured on theautochannel.com, John Nielsen, director, AAA Auto Repair and Buying Services, noted that there are several warning signs that motorists should closely monitor to identify and resolve brake wear before it can impact vehicle safety.

“Often, the first sign of worn brakes is a brake pedal that seems to require more pressure to stop the vehicle. Scraping, squeaking or chirping noises that come from the wheels when the brakes are applied are other signs of potentially excessive brake wear. A car that pulls to the left or right when the brakes are applied could also mean trouble,” Nielsen said.

He further advises consumers to ask for an annual brake inspection when taking their vehicle into an auto repair shop for service.

Complete Brake Inspection Includes Hardware

According to Chris Miller, Product Development Engineer, of International Brake Industries (IBI), consumers should ask their technician to also inspect their vehicle’s brake hardware in order to ensure that their vehicle receives a complete brake job.

Miller explained that brake noise is the No. 1 cause of dissatisfaction and complaints about brake systems. Brake noise is usually caused by the vibration of components that are not properly installed and secured—typically, it’s not the fault of brake pads or shoes, but it can more likely be caused by worn-out brake hardware.

He added that, like most mechanical parts, brake hardware will wear out over time and can’t function if the parts are corroded or stretched. If brake hardware is worn, it can even cause newly installed brake pads to wear out prematurely, reducing the life span of the pads and shoes.

Brake hardware—including clips, bolts, rubber bushings, rubber seals and springs—is integral to the proper operation of the vehicle’s entire braking system.

“It’s very common for drivers to leave an auto repair shop with newly replaced pads and shoes, but still experience brake noise because their brake hardware was not replaced,” Miller said. “We have a simple message for consumers: For a few extra dollars, you can protect your investment in brake pads and shoes and ensure optimum performance by also replacing your vehicle’s brake hardware.”

Superior Brake Performance

To reduce brake noise and drag (that is, brake pad friction, which can affect fuel economy), IBI recently introduced the new line of QuietGlide® brake clips. QuietGlide brake clips feature a coating of vulcanized rubber on one side to reduce brake noise and a low-friction PTFE coating on the other side of the clip to reduce drag.

By installing new QuietGlide brake clips, consumers are truly receiving a complete brake job—ensuring smoother, quieter riding brakes and extending the life of their brake pads and shoes.

For more information, visit www.completebrakejob.com.

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Parents play a big role in keeping teen drivers safe


(c) National Safety Council

(c) National Safety Council

(StatePoint) For teens, getting behind a wheel can seem like an exciting taste of freedom. But too much leeway too soon can have dangerous results. Car crashes are the number one killer of teens, and half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating high school, reports the National Safety Council (NSC).

Luckily, states with a Teen Safe Driving Coalition are helping change the game. The Coalitions — comprised of state and local government, law enforcement, public health agencies, traffic safety and injury prevention organizations, academia, businesses, teens, parents and crash survivors — were established by NSC and The Allstate Foundation. They have worked at the grassroots level for the last four years to educate parents and teens about the risks of teen driving. Coalitions exist in California, Florida, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas to offer solutions for parents to help teens be safer.

The results have been effective. Crashes involving 15- to 17- year-old drivers in Coalition states have dropped nearly 34 percent since the Coalitions were established four years ago, whereas non-coalition states have experienced just a 19.5 percent drop, according to NSC analysis of federal fatality data.

The Coalitions’ success is in part because they promote a program that indisputably saves lives. Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), a proven method of reducing teen drivers’ crash risk by 20 to 40 percent, works by maximizing experience while minimizing common driving risks teens face, such as nighttime driving and carrying teen passengers. This allows new drivers to gain experience with less exposure to high-risk scenarios. All 50 states and D.C. have implemented some form of GDL.

“Beyond legislation, parents have a role to play as well,” says Kathy Bernstein, senior manager of teen driving initiatives, NSC. “As the number one resource when it comes to teaching teens to drive, parents should stay involved well after teens get their licenses.”

With that in mind, Bernstein is offering some life-saving tips to families with new drivers:

  • Parents should drive with teens regularly even after they receive their license. A minimum of 30 minutes weekly can help ensure that safe driving skills are being employed.
  • Talk with teens about managing distractions, such as phones — both handheld and hands-free — the radio, other young passengers, and even beautiful roadside scenery. When teens are driving, they must stay focused on the task at hand.
  • Mile for mile, 16 and 17 year-old drivers are about three times as likely​ to be involved in a fatal car crash at night than during the day, according to “Injury Prevention,” a peer review journal. Parents should give teens opportunities to learn nighttime driving skills with an adult supervisor in the car.
  • One of the best ways for teens to learn to drive is by example. So practice safe habits always.
  • Visit the Drive it Home site at www.DriveitHome.org for resources, such as weekly driving lessons and the New Driver Deal, a contract which parents and teens can create together that outlines household driving rules and the consequences for breaking them.

“Remember, it’s not whether teens are ‘good kids’ or ‘responsible.’ New drivers share one thing in common — lack of experience,” says Bernstein. “The more practice driving teens get, the better.”

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