Q: My teenage granddaughter is learning to drive. Things have changed a lot since I got my license.
What information should her parents and I be sharing with her as she gets behind the wheel?
A: As the parent or grandparent of a teen driver, learn teen driver safety by the numbers.
Did you know:
"5" - Two or more teen passengers in your teen's car leads to distraction and distraction leads to a "5" times greater risk of a crash.
"40" - Speeding causes almost "40 percent" of fatal teen crashes - especially on unfamiliar roads or roads with a lot of traffic.
"50" - More than "50 percent" of teens killed in crashes were not buckled up. Wearing your seatbelt is your best defense against a drinking, drowsy or distracted driver.
"58" - Among teen nighttime crashes, "58 percent" happen between 9 p.m. and midnight. The fatal crash rate of 16 year olds is nearly twice as high at night.
"8" - The number of danger zones in teen driving. Distracted, drowsy or reckless driving. Driving at night or when impaired or unbuckled. Driver inexperience and teen passengers. The "8" Danger Zones that kill "8" teens a day in car crashes.
Your teen driver also needs to be aware of the seatbelt laws:
Under 18 - If you are a driver or passenger under age 18, you must buckle up. As the driver, you are responsible for all passengers under 18, regardless of where they are seated in the vehicle. This is a primary law, which means that if anyone under age 18 is unbuckled or under age 8 is not in the correct child restraint, police will pull you over, write you a ticket and, if convicted, you will pay a fine.
Over 18 - If you are a driver over age 18 and police pull you over for another violation, you will receive a second ticket if you or your front seat passengers aren't wearing a seatbelt.
(Note: The first violation could be a number of things, including unbuckled passengers under 18.)
And one more for the numbers:
"80" - A recent survey found that "80 percent" of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over teen driving behaviors.
So, whether you are the grandparent, the parent or an older sibling, you can help the teen in your family prevent destructive driving decisions.
Set rules and be a good role model.
Drive alert, focused and unimpaired, and always buckle up.
Drive the way you want your teen to drive!
"Sadie Says ..." is brought to you by the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition's Safe Communities Task Force, whose members include AAA North Penn, AARP, Area Agency on Aging and regional transportation and highway safety advocates.