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What’s the Greatest Risk to Teens’ Safety?


My teen driving - eek!If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that car crashes are the leading safety hazard for young children. But what is the greatest safety risk for teens? Drugs? Alcohol? Bullying?

Nope, it’s still cars, and most people don’t know it.

A recent survey by the National Safety Council found that 76 percent of parents weren’t aware that car crashes are the main threat to teens’ safety, and even fewer enforce habits that would help to prevent crashes. Lack of experience and poor decision-making skills lead to crashes, especially in a teen’s first year of driving.

According to the NSC, the top five risks regarding teen driving are:

  • Impaired driving. In 2011, one million teens drove after drinking.
  • Driving at night. Teens are nearly twice as likely to have a fatal crash after dark.
  • Driving with young passengers (siblings or friends). The fatal crash risk increases 44 percent when other young people are in the car.
  • A lack of practice. NHTSA recommends that parents spend at least 50 hours supervising their teens’ driving, but 44 percent don’t.
  • Distracted driving. Distracted driving, including phone use, is responsible for 58 percent of teenage crashes.

How can you make your teens safer? It’s not always easy or possible to control what a teenager does, but supervision, discussing risks, and enforcing rules can go a long way. Remember to set a good example by practicing safe driving yourself. If you need more guidance, NHTSA and SafeKids have teen driving resources.

You can also check out our recommendations for relatively inexpensive cars that would make good choices for teens. A safe car doesn’t mean you or your teen can be more lax, but it might help if they (or someone else) make a bad decision.

Happy Thanksgiving!


We are thankful for our friends, family and all of our wonderful readers who keep their kids safe in the car!  Please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving from CarseatBlog, especially if you are on the road today or tomorrow.

Drive Safely for a Happy Thanksgiving!


Throughout the year, parents are bombarded with messages from traffic safety websites and social media about how to keep yourselves and your kids as safe as possible.  “Keep them in a harness as long as possible”, “The center seat is safest”, “Buy Brand X deluxe carseat”, just to name a few.  The advice comes with the best intentions, but ultimately much of it is just icing on the proverbial cake.  So what is the ingredient list for the actual cake?  It’s simple.

Please, when driving this holiday weekend, there are only two fundamentally critical steps to the keeping-your-family-safe-on-the-road recipe:

  1. Drive unimpaired and undistracted
  2. Make sure all passengers are properly restrained with kids 12 and under in the back seat.

Those two simple steps will reduce your risk of serious injury considerably and are by far the most important things you can do to keep your kids safe.

ThanksgivBam_72dpiRGBAccording to the NHTSA and a recent Forbes article, Thanksgiving is one of the deadliest holidays in terms of fatal crashes.  In 2012, it was the deadliest, more than Christmas or Independence Day.  The main causes?  You guessed it.  Drunk driving and failure to wear a seatbelt.

By all means, we encourage families to keep their kids rear-facing as long as possible in a deluxe carseat in the center of their minivan.  Why not take every precaution?  But just the two critical steps above will save many lives.  And remember, even if you won’t be drinking and driving, someone who is may be swerving at you.  So don’t be looking at your phone or sending a text!

With early snowstorms and cold weather in some areas already, here are a few extra tips:

Please have a safe and happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday from CarseatBlog!

More tips from the NHTSA – Images courtesy of NHTSA.


On Pace for a Deadly Year


Crash SceneWe’ve seen a steady decline in traffic deaths over the past couple decades, but according to a recent study by the National Safety Council, 2015 might be different. In the first half of the year, traffic deaths were up 14% compared to the same period in 2014, and serious injuries were up 30%. If things continue at this pace, 2015 will be the deadliest driving year since 2007.

What accounts for this increase in deaths and injuries? More driving.

A stronger economy, lower unemployment, and lower gas prices mean that more people are able to drive more miles for business and pleasure. The increased traffic leads to increased opportunities for crashes.

The NSC reminds people to take steps to increase safety, such as buckling up on every trip, using designated drivers, getting plenty of sleep, and never using cell phones. It probably goes without saying, but part of “buckling up” should include using proper child restraints, too.

This study might seem like grim news, but it’s important to remember how far vehicle safety has come in the past few decades, and even in the past few years. Advances in technology like air bags, blind spot avoidance systems, and back-up cameras mean that cars today are safer than they’ve ever been. Some good defensive driving and proper restraints can help make sure you and your family are as safe as possible this holiday season.