Parents and teens sign contracts outlining safe driving rules
11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. Sending or receiving text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. Read about Dom Tiberi's experience with the dangers of distracted driving in Maria's Message
Parents need to take a more active role in helping their teens become safe drivers, according to the Ohio branch of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The Ohio AAP recently launched the PACT for Safe Driving, which encourages parents to sign contracts with their children about the family's driving rules. The contracts, which are available online at http://www.ohioaap.org/teendriving, help families set guidelines for teen drivers.
The contract outlines what times of day and night the teen can drive, how many passengers he or she can have and what types of weather the teen can drive in. The contract recommends that parents require teens to put their cellphones in the glove compartment while driving. It also allows parents to tie driving privileges to the student's grades.
Early research has shown that contracts can play a role in decreasing crashes and traffic violations among teens, according to the Ohio AAP. More than 40 percent of all deaths of people aged 16 to 20 are the result of motor vehicle crashes. Each year, about 450,000 teens nationwide are injured in car crashes.
The website also offers information about the state's driving laws and teen driving risks.