10 Tips To Prepare Teens To Avoid Becoming A Deadly Distracted Driving Statistic

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Back to school is the deadliest season for drivers. New and inexperienced drivers are back on the roads and many admit to texting and driving.

Car Accidents Are The Leading Cause Of Teen Deaths In The US.

"I am living every parent’s nightmare", says Mike Kellenyi "It only took a few seconds for a driver to blow through two stop signs, killing my daughter."

“Losing a daughter to a distracted driver in 2012 was the inspiration for PADD and for the education mission that followed,” says Mike Kellenyi, Founder of Nikki’s Foundation People Against Distracted Driving. The Fall is one of the deadliest seasons for teen drivers. Back to school puts new and inexperienced drivers on the road. According to a new National Security Council report, 19,000 teens died in automobile accidents in the first half of 2016, up by 9% over the same period of 2015. Research for the same report found that 35% of teen drivers admit to texting while driving. Car accidents are the leading cause of death in US teens. IT IS A FACT.

Here are 10 Tips to discuss with your teen to improve their odds:
1.    Use a PADD approved cell phone app like Drivebeehive, Textstar, Drive Alive and Thumb Tied to alert friends/ family that you are driving and will reply when it is safe.
2.    Use a designated texter. Delegate the driver’s cell phone to a passenger to keep the driver from distractions.
3.    Leave early enough so you are not rushed or feel that you have to notify those that you are meeting. If you can travel during daylight, that also improves the statistics on safe arrivals.
4.    Always use safety restraints and child seats. Passengers not properly retrained (at any age) are a major distraction
5.    Keep your speed down. Every 10 mph reduction in speed cuts the probability of being killed in a crash in half.
6.    Drive to reduce risk. Back off instead of tailgating, stay out of the blind spots of large trucks, and let aggressive drivers pass. If you see someone texting and driving, get as far away as possible.
7.    Avoid driving in times of decreased visibility, like bad weather when distractions can be caused by wet pavement, thunderstorms, puddles or moving water. If caught in a heavy storm, take a break from driving until the shower passes.
8.    DO NOT drink and drive or use drugs and drive. Never ride with anyone who has had any alcohol or drugs (btw pot is a drug). Avoid the late-night and early morning hours when you could become a victim of an impaired driver.
9.    Beware of animals, especially in rural areas where animals can run out into the road.
10.    Know before you go. Have your route designated before you leave and check local radio and TV stations for construction and accidents. Use voice controlled GPS so you can keep your eyes on the road.

“To increase general awareness of the dangers associated with distracted driving, PADD is hosting a Remembrance Walk and 5k at Washington Township Lake Park on Sunday, September 11, 2016,” continues Kellenyi. “The community is welcome to come out and learn more about tips and tools to avoid distracted driving and participate in wholesome family activities.” Click for Registration Form

“Another tool that I can offer you for your parenting tool belt, is the PADD Pledge. This pledge can be downloaded or printed from the enclosed link.” Kellenyi instructs. “It is to be shared between loved ones as an acknowledgement of their knowledge and commitment to avoid distracted driving. It is PADD’s mission to make sure every driver is aware.”

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The mission of PADD is to end injury and death caused by distracted driving. PADD was founded by Mike Kellenyi and his wife who lost their daughter as a victim of a distracted driving crash. Distracted driving remains the leading cause of death in teens. There are tips and tools that are available to teens and parents to end this epidemic. For more information, please visit http://www.padd.org

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Cindi Sutera
AMS Communications
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