Teach teens to drive safely

Teach teens to drive safely

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Crashes are the No. 1 killer of teens in the state. Nathan Bowie, of the Department of Public Safety, told FOX 9 News that more than 30 teens between the ages of 16 and 19 are killed on Minnesota roads each year.

DPS says the following factors are the greatest threat to the safety of young drivers:

  • Inexperience
  • Risk-taking
  • Speeding
  • Distracted driving
  • Teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use across all age groups

The first six to 12 months after getting a license are statistically the most dangerous for teen drivers, but continuing to monitor them can help.

Parents can help by talking with their teens about the driving laws pertaining to teens and setting limits -- especially regarding the number of passengers and driving at night. DPS officials suggest creating a driving contract between parent and teen.

There are driving limitations for teen drivers in the first six months. For example, teems cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless they are accompanied by a licensed driver who is 25 or older, and they are driving to or from one of the following areas:

  • Home
  • Work, or for employment purposes
  • A school event where transportation has not been provided

For the first six months, teens are also only allowed one passenger under the age of 20 unless a parent or guardian is also in the car -- except for members of the driver's immediate family who are under 20.

Instructors and parents are also encouraged to increase the time spent supervising teen drivers, and focus on a diverse training involving a variety of road types -- urban and rural -- as well as driving in different conditions, such as driving at night, in snow, or in variable-light.

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