Elizabeth Adams


College: Medicine

Teen Driving Tips for the Deadliest Days on the Road

Published: Jul 2, 2014

This column first appeared in the June 29 edition of the Lexington Herald-Leader. 


LEXINGTON, Ky. (July 2, 2014) -- The Fourth of July is a time for fireworks, festivals and fun - but the holiday also marks the most fatal day of the year for teen drivers. The National Safety Council identifies the 100-day period between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the most deadly time of year for teen drivers. Nearly 1,000 fatalities occurred on the roadways during this time period in 2012, and more than half of those killed were teens.


Car crashes are the leading cause of death for all teens, and Kentucky has one of the nation's highest rates of teen crashes. Teens constitute 6 percent of Kentucky drivers but are involved in more than 20 percent of traffic crashes and 18 percent of fatal crashes. Kentucky's Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) law helps make sure a new driver teen comes home safe and alive. But parents and guardians are the most important link making sure this happens.


1. There is no substitute for driving experience. Inexperience is a major crash risk for all teens, even responsible drivers. Long before a teen drives, they need adult role models who don't speed, wear seatbelts and anticipate moves of other cars. A new driver with a permit should spend at least 50 hours driving with an adult in the passenger's seat in a variety of conditions - on country roads and major highways, in clear and stormy weather, in rain and snow, in daytime and in darkness.


2. Wear your seat belt. More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not wearing theirs.


3. No teen passengers for new drivers. Teens who carry a single teen passenger are 44 percent more likely to be involved in a crash, and the risk increases exponentially for every extra passenger added. Passengers can be as distracting as electronics. Kentucky legally permits family passengers, but being a family member doesn’t reduce the risk.


4. Limit night driving. Crash risk increases after 9 p.m.


5. Ban distractions while driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 18 percent of fatal crashes were caused by driver distraction in 2010. Prohibit cellphone use (for calling or texting) while a teen is driving.  


6. No tired or hurried driving. Today, teens are busy with school, sports, jobs and social activities. Discourage driving when teens are rushed or running late. Offer them a ride.


6. Set teens up for success. If you give your teen driver an old clunker, be sure the tires, wipers, brakes and headlights are in good condition. It's not realistic to give teens a fast sports car and expect them not to use its speed. Less speedy cars are safer, especially on Kentucky's unforgiving rural roads.


Dr. Susan Pollack is the director of pediatric and adolescent injury prevention at the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center and a pediatrician at Kentucky Children's Hospital.

Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Dallas Buyers Club
College of Law Welcomes Trevor Potter
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Notes on Marie Menken
LNFS Presents: Edge of Tomorrow
UK Jazz Ensemble/ UK Lab Band
Earth & Environmental Science Student Open House
"Nerd Night" Exhibit and Concert
"Anne Braden: Southern Patriot" Film Screening and Discussion
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: My Neighbor Totoro
LNFS Presents: (500) Days of Summer
Men's Soccer vs. Old Dominion
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Alabama
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. South Carolina
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Rock Climbing @ Red River Gorge
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
Swing Dancing!
Dancing at Lughnasa
Cross Cultural Workshop 2014
UK Children's Hospital/Birthing Center Annual Perinatal Loss "Walk To Remember"
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Texas A&M
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Resumes and Cover Letters
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
Networking and Job Search
UK Choristers
Rock Star Professionalism Series
Stillness in Motion: The Essence of Symmetry - presented by Dr. Carl Lee, Mathematics
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Night of the Living Dead
UK Law Day
Dancing at Lughnasa
Murals of Baltimore
LNFS Presents: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Mark Berry, Guest Percussion Recital
National Depression Screening Day
LNFS Presents: Torch Song Trilogy
Dancing at Lughnasa
LNFS Presents: Shut Up and Play the Hits
LNFS Presents: Watchmen
KLJ Data Privacy Symposium
Family Weekend Check-in
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #1
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. South Carolina
Family Weekend: Derek Hughes
Dancing at Lughnasa
Kentucky Football vs. ULM
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK International Tent/ Tailgate Party
CT Surgery Symposium: Advances in the Surgical Management of Cardiothoracic Diseases:
Family Weekend Tent Party
Dancing at Lughnasa
DNT 101: A Taste of the Kentucky Doughnut Trail
Big Blue Pantry Food Drive #2
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Auburn
Sunday Lunch at Historic Spindletop Hall
Men's Soccer vs. Marshall
Job Club - Social Media and Your Career
Massage on the Go
LNFS Presents: The Last Samurai
UK Symphony Band Concert
Women's Forum Conference 2014
#TrendingTopics: Pornography vs. Morality
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: The Tree of Life
LNFS Presents: Guardians of the Galaxy
UK Wind Symphony
LNFS Presents: Princess Mononoke
LNFS Presents: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Ole Miss
Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
Paint the Town Blue
Free Kaplan Entrance Practice Exams
4th Annual Big Blue Soccer Tournament
Men's Soccer vs. New Mexico
Swing Dancing and Costumes?
Paint the Town Blue
UK Men's Chorus and acoUstiKats
Jazz Spectacular
UK Student Pajama Party
Kentucky Volleyball vs. LSU
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Florida
Paint the Town Blue
Midterm of 2014 Fall Semester
Returning to Work and Breastfeeding
Open Access Week Kickoff Event (Webcast)
Grad School 101
Royalty Showcase
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Preparing for Law School
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week: Grad School Panel: Surviving Your 1st Year
Film & Panel Discussion: Be Like Others
Graduate and Professional School Showcase
Your Publication, Your Choice: Choosing the Right Open Access Journal
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Graduate and Professional School Prep Week
Kitty Karnival
Study Tips for Medical School
LNFS Presents: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Thank-A-Donor Day
Campus Sustainability Day
Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Information Session
Getting Into Medical School
Writing a Winning Personal Statement
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Marimbas From Hell
LNFS Presents: The Fault in Our Stars
Generation Open: Researchers' Roles in the Age of Openness
Homecoming Street Fair
LNFS Presents: Kiki's Delivery Service
LNFS Presents: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
"see blue." Day at Keeneland
Peanut Butter Drive
Pumpkin Carving Tournament
Kentucky Football vs. Mississippi State
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
UK Women's Choir and Paws and Listen
Bill Cooper Faculty Recital
What Makes You "YOU: with Brett T. Spear
UK Trumpet Ensemble
Undergraduate Research Information Session "How to Find A Mentor"
Kentucky Men's Basketball Blue/White Scrimmage
Job Club - How To Get A Job at UK: Updates on IES Applicant Tracking System
Common Reading Experience Author Lecture: Presenting Ishmael Beah
Screening of the documentary Teached
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: The Shining
Pinterest Party
UK Lab Safety Fair
Leadership Assessment
"see boo." Halloween Party
Society for the Promotion of Undergraduate Research (SPUR) Meeting
#UKEDTALKS: Design Thinking with Dr. John Nash
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Tennessee
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Lucy
Film Viewing and Discussion of The Other Boleyn Girl
LNFS Presents: Papirosen
Kentucky Women's Soccer vs. Alabama
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman
LNFS Presents: Carrie
All Hallow's Eve Concert (UK Symphony Orchestra)
Work-Life Retirement Conference
PEIK Seminar: Jim Rogers
Oct 31
LNFS Presents: ParaNorman 10/31/2014

Fri, 10/31/2014

Sat, 11/01/2014

Reset Page