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ADOLESCENCE: Safety and Injury Prevention

SECTIONS: Vehicle Safety ~ Gun Safety ~ Drugs and Alcohol


Vehicle Safety

  • teenage boy driving, hand on steering wheelYour teen is more likely to wear seat belts and sports helmets if you do.
  • When your teen is ready to learn to drive, set expectations and limits. There are many sample "teen-parent driving contracts" available. They may discuss limiting the number of passengers, the amount of night driving, and how to avoid high-risk situations. (Some states have added restrictions for teen drivers.)
  • Talk openly about the risks of driving under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, pills, or other mind-altering substances.
  • Remind your teen about the dangers of talking on cell phones or texting while driving. This is illegal in many states.
  • Help your teen make a plan for what to do in case she feels unsafe riding in a car where the driver has been drinking, using drugs, or is driving unsafely.
  • If your teen is in a crash, or witnesses one, tell him not to leave the scene. He should call 911 and wait for the police or ambulance.
  • Teens younger than 16 should not drive an ATV (all terrain vehicle). They do not yet have the physical coordination or judgment to handle these vehicles safely. Everyone should wear helmets while riding on ATVs.


Gun Safety

  • The best way to keep your teen safe from injury or death from guns is not to have a gun in the home. If you do keep a gun, it should be stored unloaded and locked. Lock the ammunition separate from the gun, and hide the key.
  • Make sure your young adult understands gun safety and the risks of guns owned by friends and their families.