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Car crashes are leading killer of teens, how to stay safe behind the wheel

Posted at 8:30 AM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-19 08:31:10-04

You've probably heard these tips before, but National Teen Driver Safety Month is a great time to remind your kids and yourself of the best practices behind the wheel.

According to AAA, nearly 60 percent of moderate-to-severe teen crashes were due to distracted driving. Distractions account for many crashes, teen or otherwise. 

Some of the biggest distractions while driving that can lead to crashes are:

  • Interacting with other passengers
  • Cell phone usage
  • Looking at something in the car
  • Looking at something outside of the car
  • Singing or dancing along to music
  • Personal grooming
  • Reaching for something in the car

Parents should set an example for their teen drivers and avoid speeding, distracted driving and always wear a seat belt.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers a "5 to drive" checklist. Talk to your teen about these five things they need to do: 

  1. Don't use cell phones in the car.
  2. Don't have extra passengers
  3. Don't speed
  4. Don't drink alcohol
  5. Don't forget to wear your seat belt