According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death in teens age 16-19. These deaths are preventable through programs like education, driving instruction and the graduated drivers license law.
Graduated Drivers License Law
The Graduated Drivers License Law has three stages –
- Instruction Permit
- Eligible at age 15
- Must practice driving for at least 40 hours, with 10 hours being at night, with a qualified driving instructor
- Intermediate License
- Eligible at age 16 and has had instruction permit for at least 6 months
- Limited to one passenger, other than immediate family, during the first six months
- Limited to three passengers, other than immediate family, after six months
- May not drive alone between 1 am and 5 am, except for to and from a school activity, job or an emergency, unless with a person age 21 and above with a valid drivers license
- Under 21 full license
- Eligible at age 18
Find more about Missouri’s Graduated Drivers License Law here
Our staff has created a teen driver safety program to deliver in school health classes, starting in Fall of 2019.
These classes focus on distracted driving, parent teen driving agreements and Missouri’s graduated drivers license for freshman and sophomores as they are beginning driving.
Parent-Teen Driving Agreements
A parent-teen driving agreement is verbal or written contact between parents and their teens that set rules and expectations as teens begin to drive.
Having regular conversations between parents and teens can help increase safety and make sure both the parent and teen understand privileges and consequences of driving.
Every parent-teen driving agreement will be specific to their family, expectations and rules.
Talking points for your parent-teen driving agreement
- Alcohol and Drugs
- Seat belts
- Insurance, gas and maintenance expenses
Distracted driving is anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road while driving. Distracted driving increases your risk of a motor vehicle accident and causing injury and harm to yourself and others.
There are three types of distractions while driving: manual, visual and cognitive.
Manual can be moving your hands away from the wheel – such as trying to change the radio or reaching for something on the floorboard
Visual is anything that takes your eyes off the road – such as drowsy driving or turning around to talk to passengers
Cognitive is anything that takes your mind off the road – such as talking to passengers or when your mind wanders away from the task of driving
Texting while driving is all 3 types of distractions
Some causes of distractions while driving are –
- Passengers – crash risk doubles when teens drive one peer passenger and triples with two or more teen passengers
- Drowsy Driving – being awake for 18 hours or more is like driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.05, being awake for 24 hours is like driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.1 (National Sleep Foundation)
- Cell Phones – texting, talking and being on your phone while driving is a distraction and increases your risk for injury and motor vehicle accidents.
- Eating while driving
- Drunk driving and drugged driving
- Messing with car controls like the radio
Seatbelts save lives. Buckle up every trip, every time.
Currently, approximately 88% of drivers and passengers on Missouri’s roadways buckle up. Unfortunately, the other 12% account for nearly two-thirds of vehicle occupants killed in traffic crashes! Furthermore, unbuckled drivers and passengers are not just risking their own safety. They also increase the risk of injury to other passengers by 40% (savemolives.com)
Useful links for Teens & Parents