AUSTIN, TX (KFDA) - The Texas Department of Public Safety says it's time to talk to your children about avoiding dangers behind the wheel.
DPS is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct. 16-22) to urge young drivers to put safety first when behind the wheel.
"Driving can be one of the most dangerous things Texans do on a daily basis – and can pose even more risks for inexperienced or young drivers," said DPS Director Steven McCraw. "All drivers have a fundamental responsibility help keep our roads safe, and teens can play a significant role in that effort. DPS is urging teens to use extra caution and always obey traffic laws in order to protect themselves, their passengers and others from possible injury or death."
According to the NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens, ahead of all other types of injury, disease or violence. In 2015, more than 81,900 drivers ages 15-19 were involved in traffic crashes on Texas roadways.
DPS and the NHTSA offer the following tips to help teen drivers stay safe:
- Don’t drink and drive. (Reminder – the drinking age in Texas is 21.)
- Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law.
- Avoid distracted driving – including using mobile devices, eating or anything that takes your attention off the road.
- Obey posted speed limits and drive to road conditions.
- Avoid having more than one passenger at a time.
DPS also is reminding student drivers about the Impact Texas Teen Driver (ITTD) program requirement for driver license applicants who take a teen driver education course – including Parent Taught Driver Education. (Individuals aged 18-24, who choose to complete a teen driver education course, must also complete the ITTD program.)
ITTD should be completed after the driver education course classroom hours and all behind-the-wheel instruction, and it is the last step before taking the driving skills examination. The two-hour ITTD program contains several videos that provide awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/teen-safety/national-teen-driver-safety-week.