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Accidents involving motor vehicles are the leading cause of death for teenagers (RMIIA, 2005), and 16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age. According to a recent study sponsored by AAA (2006), almost two thirds of those killed in accidents where teenagers are the drivers are people other than the driver.
Teens who start driving are excited about the freedom that driving gives them, and are less inclined to think seriously about safety issues. Communicating safety messages to teens can be problematic, simply because they're teenagers and may chafe at what they see as restrictions on their freedom. This means that to improve teen driving safety, education programs must deliver safety messages in ways that are specifically targeted to teens and which do not make them feel they are being 'talked down to'.
Driving education programs for teenagers should be designed to stimulate interest in road safety and should clearly show them the possible consequences of unsafe driving. To help keep teens interested in the program, a range of activities should be designed that are fun and interactive while sending clear messages about the importance of road safety. Activities can include practical demonstrations which teens can take part in, and interactive film clips in which they can make choices for the characters portrayed.
Educating teens on the practice of safe driving will include information on speeding, seat belts, drinking and driving, and how to handle distractions while driving. ...
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