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CDC Launches “Parents are the Key” Program

June 1, 2012
Colson Hicks Eidson

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the annual number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal car crashes decreased by 36 percent from 2004 to 2008. This is promising news for parents and teens, and parents should take this opportunity to encourage safe driving habits that will last well beyond a child’s teen years. As a way to help, the CDC launched its “Parents are the Key” safety campaign, aimed at informing parents how they can shape their child’s driving habits.

Despite the drop in teen deaths from car crashes, one out of every three teen deaths is still the result of a motor vehicle crash. The CDC hopes its “Parents are the Key” safety campaign will continue the downward trend in fatal teenage car accidents. Parents should not underestimate the influence they have over their teenagers. Safety experts and the CDC recommend that parents initiate the conversation with their kids about safe driving.

As a parent, you should lead by example when your teen is a passenger in the car. Do not wait until your teen is old enough to drive to start modeling good driving behaviors.  If you talk on the phone, text, speed or drive without your seat belt, so might your teen. In addition, do not be lenient if you see your child texting or talking on the cell phone while driving. Taking the keys away from a teenage driver is never too harsh of a punishment.

Has a careless or distracted driver caused pain and suffering to you or a loved one?