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Press Room

Parents need to remind teens about responsible driving this summer

05.13.2011
Contact: Jennifer Farquhar, Phone: (330) 375-4930

Contact: Jennifer Farquhar, Phone: (330) 375-4930, Email: farquharj@summahealth.org

AKRON, Ohio, May 13, 2011 – Graduation parties throughout the summer can bring the chance that young drivers will make the wrong choice by consuming drugs or alcohol and then getting behind the wheel.

“Teen drivers can feel like they’re immortal at the same that they’re lacking experience on the road,” said Rebecca Wise, acting Summit County Safe Communities grant coordinator for Summa Akron City Hospital. “If you throw in drugs or alcohol, it’s a very risky combination and dangerous to others on the road.”
According to the National Safety Council, Every year, young drivers are involved in more than six million collisions, resulting in 14,000 fatalities. The National Safety Council urges parents to remind the young drivers in their family about roadway safety and offers these tips:

  • Experience, Experience, Experience: While supervising a new teen driver, parents should give teens plenty of experience behind the wheel in a variety of situations, including night driving and driving in different weather conditions. If you want to spend time with your kids, spend it in the car.
  • Eliminate the distractions: Ban any cell phone use in your teen's car.
  • Set firm penalties for alcohol use and lack of seatbelt use: Teens get into more crashes than other people, yet they wear seat belts less frequently than other people. Parents should set strong rules about seatbelt use and remind their teens about the dangers of underage drinking and drunk driving.
  • Communicate: Parents should work with teens in an open dialogue. Try using a written parent/teen agreement which allows clear communication between parents and new teen drivers.
  • General advice: Your teen could also be the passenger of another new teen driver, which is a risky situation for both. Know whether your teen's friends are following the state law on nighttime driving limits and passenger limits.

There have been nine traffic-related fatalities in Summit County so far this year, compared to six deaths during the same time period in 2010.

About Summa Health System
Summa Health System is one of the largest integrated healthcare delivery systems in Ohio. Encompassing a network of hospitals, community health centers, a health plan, a physician-hospital organization, a multi-specialty physician organization, research and multiple foundations, Summa is nationally renowned for excellence in patient care and for exceptional approaches to healthcare delivery. Summa's clinical services are consistently recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (Magnet status), U.S. News and World Report, Thomson Reuters and The Leapfrog Group. Summa also is a founding partner of the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron. For more information, visit www.summahealth.org or find us on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/summahealth and Twitter at www.twitter.com/summahealth.

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