It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week

Published 3:58 pm Monday, October 16, 2023

KENTUCKY TODAY

Gov. Andy Beshear is encouraging parents to observe National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 15-21, by making sure their teens know the rules for the road before handing them the keys.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is helping empower parents by joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in its efforts during this time.

“This week serves as an opportunity for parents and guardians to have a conversation with teens about safe driving habits,” Gov. Beshear said. “Having an open dialogue is one way parents can put their minds at ease before handing over the keys, and we hope these conversations will continue throughout the year.”

According to NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Per mile driven, teens are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.

“Because they are new to driving, teen drivers are a potential danger to themselves and to other road users,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray. “Laws are not enough to protect these young drivers. We need parents to set the rules before handing over the car keys. We also need parents to set a good example when they are behind the wheel.”

KYTC’s Office of Highway Safety says over the past three years in Kentucky, there were more than 44,000 crashes involving a teenage driver, resulting in more than 13,000 injuries and 211 deaths.

NHTSA’s website, nhtsa.gov/road-safety/teen-driving, has information and statistics on teen driving and outlines six basic rules for the road:

• Avoid distracted driving.

• Wear seat belts.

• Take extra caution while driving with passengers.

• Obey speed limits.

• Never drive impaired.

• Don’t drive drowsy.

For additional assistance, the KOHS partnered with the Kentucky Safety Prevention Alignment Network (KSPAN) to develop the Kentucky Checkpoints™ program. This free program works with county and community entities, high schools and health departments to educate parents and teens on Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) requirements and risks to teen drivers. The program is available for free in all 120 counties with a “Train the Trainer” class and printed materials provided for free.