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Sheboygan Police Department
Thursday April 4th, 2019 :: 01:25 p.m. CDT


Young and carefree, how do we protect our teenage drivers?

Being a teenager is some of the best years of our lives. But when a teenager is finally provided a driver’s license, it comes with newfound responsibility. Not only for the teenage driver but also for the parent. Many teenagers live in the moment and don’t necessarily understand the potential ramifications associated with driving a vehicle in an unsafe manner. They are young and with this comes spontaneity along with a youthful spirit. Good things if logical decision making is part of their spontaneity and youthful spirit. Teen drivers have a higher rate of traffic fatalities due to their lack of maturity, lack of experience and lack of skills. It takes time to be good at something. As a parent, talking to your teenager driver is extremely important in order to avoid an unnecessary accident. Topics that should be covered:

• Never utilize alcohol or drugs and get behind the wheel of a car (we all know it is illegal as a youth but this is a life lesson for us all).

• Wear your seatbelt at all times (this includes the teenage driver telling their passengers the same). The parent is the role model to ensure you wear your seatbelt.

• Don’t text and drive (research shows that dialing a phone number while driving increases your teen's risk of crashing by 6 times, and texting while driving increases the risk by 23 times. Talking or texting on the phone takes your teen's focus off the task of driving, and significantly reduces their ability to react to a roadway hazard, incident, or inclement weather).

• Focus on the road, not your make-up. Teenagers get easily distracted and putting on make-up, eating or reaching for an item on the floor while driving takes the focus off the road. These tasks can be accomplished after reaching your destination.

• A teenagers friends (aka passengers) may test the fortitude of the teenage driver and encourage them to take unnecessary risks.

The likelihood of teen drivers engaging in one or more risky behaviors when traveling with multiple passengers increased to three times compared to when driving alone. Peer pressure is an everyday occurrence in the teenage world and making good decisions starts with good advice from a parent. If the teenage passenger can’t act responsibly, it is time for them to walk.

• Speeding habitually results in the reason 33% of teenage driver accidents occur. If a teenager is not talked to about speeding, it is common for the teenage driver to continue this behavior due to increased confidence in being able to handle speed. It is against the law and creates unnecessary risk.

• Teenagers are busy people and commonly don’t get enough sleep. Drowsy driving can be avoided by the parent telling their teen that they need to get rest before driving (tell junior it is time for bed).

Begin early, tell your teen that you set the ground rules and control the vehicle. If they can’t be mature behind the wheel, then they are not ready to drive. Many teenagers are responsible drivers but this still requires constant vigilance by the parent after they get that first set of keys and newfound freedom.

Sheboygan Police Department
1315 N 23rd St
Sheboygan, WI 53081

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 920-459-3333

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