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WisDOT: Parents urged to work with teens to build safe driving habits
National Teen Driver Safety Week puts focus on partnership between parents, teachers and the community to help inexperienced young drivers
Parents play a critical role in teens “learn-to-drive” phase. National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 21-27, 2018) is an ideal time to talk with young drivers during about the causes of crashes and how to be safe drivers. Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of teen fatalities.
“Teen drivers have a higher rate of fatal crashes, primarily because of their lack of experience, skills and immaturity. As a parent and grandparent, I know the concerns of handing over the car keys to a young driver,” WisDOT Secretary Dave Ross said. “Through education, enforcement and innovative engineering we’re having a positive impact on reducing risky teen behavior and improving safety on Wisconsin roads.”
National Teen Driver Safety Week raises awareness and seeks solutions to prevent teen injuries and deaths on the road. It’s an opportunity for parents to talk with their teens, set good examples and be involved in forming safe driving habits that last a lifetime.
WisDOT DMV directly supports parents and their teen drivers in many ways, including:
- Monitoring schools that offer driver education classes;
- Providing “The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program” booklet to teen drivers who received their probationary driver license;
- Having qualified driving examiners to test behind-the-wheel skills of student drivers; and
- Offering the “Wisconsin Motorists Handbook” online in multiple formats and languages
State Patrol enforces Wisconsin’s Graduated Driver License “GDL,” which restricts the number of passengers that can ride in a car driven by a teen. Having only one extra, non-family passenger in a vehicle for the first nine months of driving helps keep the inexperienced teen driver focused on the road.
GDL is an important contributor to reducing crashes in Wisconsin. Since Wisconsin’s GDL Law took effect in 2000, fatal crashes involving teen drivers (ages 16-19) dropped nearly 46 percent (from 138 fatal crashes in 2000 to 75 in 2017).
WisDOT also invests in research and implementation of safety features, such as grooved pavement and high-tension cable barriers, to protect all drivers. Other resources like 511wi.gov give real time information on road and travel conditions.