Why We Observe Global Youth Traffic Safety Month
April 29, 2019 | by BMI Staff
You know an issue is prevalent when an entire month is dedicated to its awareness. May is Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, which is a long-winded phrase that highlights the hazards associated with youthful driving. Car accidents are the number one cause of death for teens in the U.S. In fact, teens are involved in “three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers,” according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. With such dismal statistics, it is easy to reach for your child’s keys and lock them away until he or she is 25. The real solution, however, is to involve youthful drivers in tackling this issue.
The purpose of this month is both to raise awareness for the issue and empower youthful drivers. There are many researched solutions that would, if put into effect, lower the number of youthful traffic accidents. Dr. Hans-Yngve Berg, a Driver Education Expert, proposes communication campaigns as the first accident-reducing tactic. Communication would, according to Berg, be most effective when employing persuasion and emotion, while targeting either gender based on specific driving behaviors (Berg, 2006). Involving teens in these conversations and exposing them to communication-based resources will likely encourage them to drive more safely on the road.
Economic incentives have also been shown to encourage good driving behavior in teens. Examples include being offered a lower insurance premium based on good driving. BMI offers several incentivizing discounts to youthful drivers to encourage a shift in the accident report count. We offer discounts on policies that remain claims free for at least three years, drivers who receive a 3.0 GPA or higher in school, and drivers who have taken a driving safety course. These discounts may either be applied to your policy individually, or you may qualify for several to earn even more savings.
3 Practical Tips for Reducing Youthful Driving Danger
- Never use a cell phone while driving.
Download an app that prevents cell-phone use while your car is in motion. Pull over to make phone calls and respond to texts. Check out this guide listing the top-rated road safety apps.
- Never drink before driving a car.
If you are a parent, make sure your child feels comfortable calling you when they need a ride, as opposed to the very dangerous alternative.
- Avoid driving at night.
Keep your eye on the clock whenever you’re away from home. Give yourself enough time to get back before the sun goes down. Driving at night is more dangerous for all ages, but the risks are heightened for youthful drivers.
While being a youthful driver does carry with it the burden of scary statistics, it certainly doesn’t mean your ending has already been written. The best way to overcome negative odds is to diligently and consistently work to counteract them. If you are a young driver, your biggest threat on the road is yourself. Avoid distractions as best you can by putting down the phone, creating a few rules for your passengers, and never, ever drive under the influence.
- Berg, H. (2006). Reducing crashes and injuries among young drivers: What kind of prevention should we be focusing on? US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 12(Suppl_1), I15-I18. doi:10.1136/ip.2006.012062