Passengers, parents urged to speak up to help prevent teen driving deaths
JACKSON, Tenn. — This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week and Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) is hoping to spotlight the need for safe teen driving awareness.
They say that the number one leading cause for teen deaths is car accidents. In 2020 there were 2,276 people killed in an accident involving a teen driver, of that number 748 of those people was the teen themselves.
The causes for teen related driving accidents was speeding at 32%. Behind that was drunk driving at 19%, and finally distracted driving, like texting at 7%.
“You know almost 52% of drivers who were driving in the state and get into car accidents, 52% of them who died it’s because they weren’t wearing a seatbelt,” said Shreen Shavkani, National President of SADD.
SADD wants parents to get involved and believes the key to preventing deaths is through parent intervention. They say having these sometimes uncomfortable conversations with your teen is crucial and needs to be done in a constructive way.
“I think the biggest thing that parents can do to have these constructive conversations is definitely being empathetic and understanding to where their child is coming from,” Shavkani said. “I think it really helps when parents are understanding that they realize their child is just going through, you know, development process and when parents are understanding that they were in that, you know, in their shoes at one point in time, they could always do the same thing. So, just being open and empathetic about it is definitely the best idea.”
They also believe that it is important for teen passengers to speak up if they are riding with someone who is breaking a law or making them uncomfortable.
“…And then when we’re pulled over, I’ll just be like hey it’s okay, I can grab your phone for you. Do you need me to text someone back for you, I got you, like don’t worry about it and it just kind of helps that, you know, conversation happen without it feeling like it’s confrontational to a sense,” Shavkani said.
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