The survey revealed that speeding was by far the number one teen traffic violation statewide during the holiday months, with the Texas Department of Public Safety handing out more than 17,000 speeding tickets to young drivers during November and December last year.
Not wearing seat belts, running red lights and stop signs, and following too closely were other common traffic citations teens received statewide. Drinking violations also increased for teens during the holidays and are always a constant concern for police throughout Texas.
Last year, Texas led the nation in teen driving deaths with 227 teen drivers killed in car crashes — according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
December 23 and 24 are two of the deadliest days of the year for drivers and Allstate hopes the survey results will foster dialogue between parents and teens to give the gift of safety during the holidays.
“For more than 10 years now, car crashes have been the number one killer of teens,” says Roy Portillo, an Allstate agent in El Paso. “As a parent, there is a lot you can do to protect your teen as a driver and, equally as important, as a passenger in a car, especially during the holidays when they’re out of school and out with friends.”
Tips for keeping teens safe
1. Talk to your teen early and often — Discuss the risks and responsibilities of driving with your teen before, during and after the licensing process.
2. Reinforce road rules — Establish expectations and make consequences clear for driving behaviors like speeding, getting traffic tickets, cell phone use, drinking and driving and breaking curfew. Allstate offers an interactive parent-teen driving contract at www.allstate.com/teen, to use as a starting point for a conversation about driving responsibilities.
3. Empower your teen — Being a passenger in another teen’s car puts your teen at risk. Reinforce the importance of speaking up in dangerous situations.
4. Practice what you preach — Your teen is more likely to be a calm, courteous driver, wear a seat belt and follow the rules of the road if they see you doing the same