SACRAMENTO – Teen drivers can face challenges with every new experience. During National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 18-24, 2020, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) joins the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to encourage parents and guardians to discuss driver safety with their young drivers.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, ahead of any type of injury, disease, or violence. According to preliminary data from the CHP’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 255 people in California were killed last year in crashes involving drivers aged 15-19.
“Teen drivers do not have the experience needed when confronted with new challenges on the road. This can create a potential danger to themselves and others,” CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley said. “Through open communication and by setting an example with their own good driving habits, parents and guardians can help keep their young drivers safe.”
Discussions about safe driving include avoiding distractions such as cell phones, using seat belts, obeying speed limits, not driving impaired, and limiting the number of passengers. Parents and guardians must be aware that their own driving behavior and following the same rules is as important as any conversation they may have with their teen.
The CHP provides education to help keep teen drivers alive in its Start Smart course, offered by all CHP offices free of charge. Participating in Start Smart will help parents and guardians learn how to effectively discuss the importance of driving safely with their young drivers. Start Smart also teaches driver responsibility, the Graduated Driver License program, and collision avoidance techniques. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Start Smart classes are being held online. Contact your local CHP Area office for information on how to enroll.
The mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security.