October 17, 2014

Getting a driver’s license has become a rite of passage for teens, but it also begins what could be a dangerous journey.

Crashes are more common among young drivers than any other age group. Nationwide, one in four crash fatalities involve someone 16 to 24 years old, which is nearly twice as high as other age groups. Traffic crashes continue to be the biggest cause of teen deaths, with more than 3,000 teens killed every year on our roads and highways.

Teen Driver Safety Week

Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care, a nationwide chain of total auto repair centers, recognizes National Teens Driver Safety Week, which begins Oct. 19, as an ideal time for parents to discuss safe driving with their teens.

“We know, from what we do every day, that cars can usually be fixed. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always hold true for a teen who’s been in a crash,” said Cottman President Randy Wright. “Too many of our children are killed or become permanently disabled due to crashes. In many cases, these are preventable tragedies.”

Cottman encourages parents to talk with their teens about some of the biggest causes of teen crashes – speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, and drowsiness.

Dangers Of Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become a major factor in teen crashes during the past decade. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

Distractions while driving can include eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, using a navigation system, watching a video and adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player. But cell phone use and texting are, by far, the most dangerous since they take the driver’s eyes and attention off the road. The typical text takes five seconds to read or send. At highway speeds, that is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field while blindfolded, traffic safety experts say.

There are many free resources that parents can use to help discuss safe driving with their children. NHTSA has a wealth of information at www.nhtsa.gov. Videos on a variety of teen safe driving topics are available for free download from The National Road Safety Foundation at www.nrsf.org.

“Any time is a good time for a parent to talk with his or her teen driver about safe behavior behind the wheel,” said Cottman’s Randy Wright.

About Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care:

With locations across the U.S., Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care is a transmission and auto repair company for almost any make or model vehicle, foreign or domestic. Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care continues to take claim of the growing $250 billion aftermarket auto industry and specializes in complete transmission service, brakes, suspension, air conditioning service and much more. Cottman is based in Horsham, Pa. For more information, please visit www.cottman.com.