AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is joining the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) during National Teen Driver Safety Week to urge young drivers to put safety first when behind the wheel. National Teen Driver Safety Week begins Sunday, Oct. 16 and continues through Saturday, Oct. 22.
“Driving can be one of the most dangerous things Texans do on a daily basis – and can pose even more risks for inexperienced or young drivers,” DPS Director Steven McCraw said. “All drivers have a fundamental responsibility help keep our roads safe, and teens can play a significant role in that effort. DPS is urging teens to use extra caution and always obey traffic laws to protect themselves, their passengers and others from possible injury or death.”
According to the NHTSA, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens, ahead of all other types of injury, disease or violence. In 2015, more than 81,900 drivers ages 15—19 were involved in traffic crashes on Texas roadways.
In a press release issued Friday, Oct. 14, DPS and the NHTSA offered the following tips to help teen drivers stay safe:
Don’t drink and drive. (Reminder – the drinking age in Texas is 21.) Buckle up everyone in the vehicle – it’s the law. Avoid distracted driving – including using mobile devices, eating or anything that takes your attention off the road. Obey posted speed limits and drive to road conditions. Avoid having more than one passenger at a time. DPS also is reminding student drivers about the Impact Texas Teen Driver (ITTD) program requirement for driver license applicants who take a teen driver education course — including Parent Taught Driver Education. The DPS press release states that individuals aged 18-24, who choose to complete a teen driver education course, must also complete the ITTD program.
The ITTD program should be completed after the driver-education-course classroom hours and all behind-the-wheel instruction. The program is the last step before taking the driving skills examination and consists of a two-hour program that contains several videos, which provide awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
For a video overview of the ITTD program, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fgu1bUrUo9o. For more detailed information about ITTD, visit http://www.dps.texas.gov/DriverLicense/ittdPrgm.htm.
For more information about National Teen Driver Safety Week, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/teen-safety/national-teen-driver-safety-week.