As part of National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 18 through October 24), model Niki Taylor, who is a car crash survivor and the mother of two teenagers herself, teamed up with State Farm Insurance, where she was on hand to help parents talk about safe driving to their teens, as well as help parents to encourage good safe driving habits and how those lines of communication and safe driving habits can significantly devrease the likelihood of teens and young adults being involved in serious – and sometimes fatal – auto accidents.
In 2001, Taylor was critically injured in a car crash when the driver of the car reached for his cell phone and lost control of the vehicle before running into a utility pole. After numerous operations and substantial physical therapy, Taylor has recovered from the accident and now speaks out to help bring attention to the issue.
According to statistics, automobile crashes are the number one killer among teens, however many teen driver-related injuries and deaths can be prevented by raising awareness and providing solutions to teen driving fatalities.
According to State Farm’s claims database, from 2003 through 2007, October averaged the highest number of teen vehicle crashes and on average, the number of 16 and 17 year old driver claims involving injury or collision increases nearly 20 percent in October as compared to other months.
As part of their efforts to address the issue, State Farm Insurance and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia have formed the Young Driver Research Initiative (YDRI) to help reduce teen driver fatalities through scientific research. A new study from the YDRI, which was published on September 28, 2009 in the medical journal of Pediatrics, revealed that the way parents communicate with their teens about safe driving can strongly influence their teens’ likelihood of a car crash.
The study is based on the National Young Driver Survey of more than 5,500 teenagers. The study, “Associations Between Parenting Styles and Teen Driving, Safety-Related Behaviors and Attitudes,” revealed that teens who said their parents set clear rules, paid attention to who they were with and where they were going, and did so in a supportive way were half as likely to be involved in an automobile crash, twice as likely to wear seatbelts, less likely to drive while intoxicated and less likely to use a cell phone while driving. Teens who also said their parents set rules in a supportive way were half as likely to be in an automobile crash as compared with teens who said their parents were less involved.
To highlight these new research findings, State Farm Insurance, together with The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, developed an online resource at www.statefarm.com/teendriving, which assists parents about how to talk to their teens and yung adults about safe driving and good driving habits. The site also includes teen driving facts and statistics, an interactive quiz, and video demonstrations, as well as important tips for setting rules that are most likely to protect teens.
The purpose of National Teen Driver Safety Week is to raise awareness about the tragedy of teen vehicle crashes, and to encourage communication between teens and parents about the causes of and solutions to teen crashes. To learn more about National Teen Driver Safety week or to view the online parent resource, visit: www.statefarm.com/teendriving.