Sunday, March 9, 2008

Protecting kids from car crashes


Parents, we can all guess which circumstances are the most dangerous when it comes to our kids and car crashes. Now, a study proves it. Riding unbuckled with new teen drivers on high-speed roads are the three biggest risk factors of death for passengers 8 to 17 years-old.

While young drivers have higher chances of dying, the six-year study focused on nearly 10,000 children passengers who were killed in car crashes. More than half — 54 percent — were riding with a teen driver. Drivers younger than 16 were the most dangerous.

Not surprisingly, Other dangerous circumstances for young passengers included drivers who’d been drinking alcohol, male teen drivers, and driving on weekends.

The message for parents is simple and sobering: Don’t let your teen ride with a teen driver who has less than a year’s experience driving. Insist on seat belts. And practice ways teens can resist peer pressure to ride with other teens, said Dr. Flaura Koplin Winston of The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, the study’s lead author.

But no states have all the restrictions recommended by State Farm(who funded the study), the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Philadelphia hospital. For example, they say the minimum age for a learner’s permits should be 16. But nine states grant them to 14-year-olds and at least 30 others give them to 15-year-olds.

Also, the groups say drivers younger than 18 should not be allowed to have more than one teen passenger without adult supervision, but only 34 states have that restriction, according to data provided by the hospital and State Farm.(Illinois is one of them) Does anyone know if teens actually follow this law or whether it's enforced?

Do you remember how unsafe you were when you were driving at 16-years-old with a group of friends in the back? What will you do the ensure your kids are safe?

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

P.S. I haven't heard back yet from the doctors mentioned in the previous posts about cosleeping. I do have a ton of information on how many after school activities is too many (reader question). I will write that one this week. And I have half of the reader question on kindergarten requirements. I am waiting to hear back on the vitmain question. If you have a question you would like me to answer, just let me know.


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