Ryan Ramsey: Be safe on the road this homecoming | SummitDaily.com

Ryan Ramsey: Be safe on the road this homecoming

Ryan Ramsey
General Manager, Summit Ford

With homecoming week upon us it is no surprise that our teen drivers will be on the road more than usual, taking part in all the festivities. Parents of teen drivers: It is our responsibility to make sure our kids are equipped with the proper knowledge to stay safe on the road!

Teen drivers only represent 6 percent of Colorado drivers, but they account for more than 11 percent of statewide traffic deaths. As an auto dealer in Summit County, I am reminded every day that enforcing safe driving habits is the only way to bring this statistic down.

I’d like to offer a few practical tips for everyone:

> Insist on safety belt use. According to the latest data, in 2009 the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 12,713 lives in the US.

> Drinking and driving don’t mix. More than a third of all teen traffic fatalities involve alcohol. This should be obvious, but no excuses, no second chances, no alcohol. Period. Make sure you talk to your child about what to do or who to call if they are ever stuck in a situation without a sober driver. There are always other options.

> Avoid distractions. Driving demands full attention. A driver’s responsibility is to operate the vehicle safely. Distractions like the radio, cellphones and passengers take attention away from the road. Colorado’s Graduated Driving Licensing Laws have helped decrease distractions, but it is still up to drivers to follow the law.

> Today’s vehicles are safer than ever, and advanced technologies such as Sync, MyFord Touch, and other manufacturer’s offerings are helping to keep our kids safe. If your teen is borrowing your car, make sure you take a drive with them first and they know how to properly use all the features.

For parents especially, safe driving habits are a crucial involvement in your teen’s life. Ford recently released a survey reporting that more than three quarters of tweens say they will rely heavily on their parents’ advice when they start to drive. That’s great news for parents. On the flipside, though, the same study showed that while nearly all (95 percent) of parents believe they’re safe drivers, 82 percent of teens report seeing their parents be careless when driving.

The bottom line is we all need to practice safe driving habits. Let’s do it for ourselves and the safety of our kids. Go Tigers!

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