DHSMV Promotes National Teen Driver Safety Week October 16-22
~ Teen Arrive Alive Day on October 18 focuses on safe driving education to prevent teen crashes ~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in recognizing National Teen Driver Safety Week from October 16 to 22 and highlighting Teen Arrive Alive Day on October 18 with events throughout the state to remind teens and adults around them to stay safe behind the wheel.
“With almost 750,000 teen drivers in the state, it is so important for teens to buckle up, observe all speed limits, never drink and drive and keep their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving,” said DHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “Adults should also model safe driving behavior to ensure teens across the state Arrive Alive.”
Teen Arrive Alive Day is a statewide effort to educate parents and teens on safe driving behaviors to ultimately prevent teen crashes. The Florida Highway Patrol will be conducting safety events and presentations at high schools all over the state, focusing on enforcing Graduated Driver License (GDL) laws, driving sober and operating a motor vehicle fully engaged without distractions.
“It’s easy to get lost in conversation and socializing while driving. Just remember your number one priority is to safely operate your vehicle,” said Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. “Let your friends know that you aren’t ignoring them, you are simply focusing on keeping them, and yourself, safe.”
GDL laws in Florida allow young drivers to safely gain experience under lower-risk conditions before obtaining full driving privileges. Parents play an important role in helping to ensure their teen drivers take smart steps to stay safe on the road by working with teens to practice safe driving and making sure teens follow night driving curfew restrictions.
Take the time to talk with teenagers about the following precautions that will prevent crashes and help them Arrive Alive:
- Buckle up – every trip, every time. Wear your seat belt EVERY TIME you get in a vehicle. It is the single best way anyone can protect themselves in a crash.
- Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind on driving. Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. That’s enough time to cross a football field. Whether it’s texting, eating or tuning in your favorite radio station, a driver who takes their focus off the road is driving distracted and the end result could be deadly.
- Stop speeding before it stops you. Speeding is dangerous at any age, but it’s especially dangerous for inexperienced teen drivers. In 2015 in Florida, the top citation issued to teens age 16 to 19 was for unlawful speed.
- Be responsible, don’t drink and drive at any age. Teenagers may be too young to legally buy alcohol, but teen drivers are still at risk of death in alcohol-related crashes.
- Limit the number of passengers in a vehicle. Extra passengers can be distracting for an inexperienced teen driver. Fewer passengers in a teen’s vehicle can help keep their mind on driving and minimize distractions.
Visit the DHSMV’s website https://www.flhsmv.gov/safety-center/driving-safety/teen-drivers/ for more information and use the hashtag #TeensArriveAliveFL throughout the week to add and share important teen driving safety information.
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides highway safety and security through excellence in service, education and enforcement. The Department is leading the way to a safer Florida through the efficient and professional execution of its core mission: the issuance of driver licenses, vehicle tags and titles and operation of the Florida Highway Patrol. To learn more about DHSMV and the services offered, visit www.flhsmv.gov, follow us on Twitter @FLHSMV or find us on Facebook. For safe driving tips and techniques, download the official Florida Driver License Handbook.