Elizabeth Hudgins: Driving program works

January 7, 2013 

Driving program works

The Jan. 1 Road Worrier column (“Teen drivers log time with grownups”) clearly laid out the new requirements of the driving log while stressing the value of supervised driving.

North Carolina’s Graduated Driver Licensing system (originally a recommendation of the N.C. Child Fatality Task Force) was one of the first and remains one of the most effective in the nation, in part because of its supervised driving requirements. Indeed, supervised driving is among the safest driving with relatively few crashes among teen drivers.

The task force recently released a report that offers strategies for local groups seeking to promote teen road safety. Promising approaches include improved parental engagement to reinforce safe driving techniques such as maximizing supervised driving time and limiting passengers; public awareness campaigns that include concrete action steps, such as putting the cell phone in the trunk to reduce the temptation to talk or text; enforcement efforts that are highly visible but unpredictably deployed; and efforts to improve seatbelt use that include passengers.

The report is available on the website of the Child Fatality Task Force under Reports and Data and includes issue summaries for key topics, such as seatbelts, distracted driving and driver education.

Elizabeth Hudgins

Executive director, N.C. Child Fatality Task Force

Raleigh

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