Teen Drivers and Seatbelt Use

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the leading cause of death for kids between the ages of 15-20 in the US is from car crashes. This explains why many parents are never truly thrilled when their teens finally receive their driving license. It is a justifiable concern, given that this age bracket is often caught up in traffic violation cases.

For their safety, it is important that they always wear their seatbelts each time they are driving. In 2020, 56% of teens killed in a car crash were not wearing a seatbelt. Choosing not to buckle up not only increases their chances of suffering major injuries or death, but it is also a violation of the law. How then can you encourage them to wear their seatbelts?

Encouraging Seatbelt Use Among Teenagers

As an adult, it is nearly an automatic principle that must be followed each time the driver’s seat is occupied. For teenagers, not so much. Before children are old enough to have a driver’s license, it is the duty of the parent to reinforce good driving behavior. It is about persistence and modelling safe actions behind the wheel.

Promote Awareness

Let them learn from you. Each time you drive, buckle up and ask everyone else to do the same before veering off. It is one way of helping your child internalize the norm. Kids who grow up watching their parents buckle up are more likely to do the same when their time to drive comes.

Point out Bad Behavior

Make it your responsibility to take disciplinary action should they fail to obey traffic rules. It could mean taking away their car privileges each time they fail to use their seatbelt.

Emphasize the Consequences

What will happen should they fail to buckle up when driving? Could an accident occur, resulting in serious injuries? Talk to them about these consequences. Failing to observe the rules could also result in death. While they are likely to hear it from their driving instructor, it will make a lot of difference hearing it from you.

As soon as teenagers acquire driving independence, they don’t often take their safety seriously. As parents, it is important to educate teens about the importance of using seatbelts and other safe driving practices. Talk to them about how reckless it is to ride unbuckled and the consequences likely to arise. To help raise awareness among other parents, please share this information with family and friends. Your simple gesture could help save lives.