May is Youth Traffic Safety Month!

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They all fly the nest and start driving sooner than we want. May is the month to bring the subject up to your new driver. The State of Florida has more than 815,000 licensed teen drivers. That’s kind of a scary stat to think about and for good reason. Even though teens only make up about 5% of Florida’s licensed drivers, they make up about 11% of all crashes in Florida. In 2020, the state of Florida reported an unfortunate 97 teen-driver fatalities.

Inexperience certainly plays a big factor in the higher risk stats for teens on the road. Combine that with rowdy passengers, smartphones, navigation tools, food in the car, wildlife, cyclists, pedestrians, an unfamiliarity with common road hazards, and other distractions – it becomes a parent’s recipe for fear!

One recent study suggests up to 80% of all crashes involve some form of driver distraction. This is why a growing number of parents don’t let their teenagers get into a car with another teen driver. Mother Jessica Vallecilla says she restricts her teens from riding with their friends mostly because of a lack of responsibility and experience. “Some teenagers have not come into awareness that their actions have consequences,” she says. Some distractions, like smartphones for instance, are well-known dangers. That’s why many parents choose to be strict with their teen drivers about not answering texts while behind the wheel and why most states (Florida included) have outlawed texting while driving. But research suggests not all distractions are so easily perceived. For example, some researchers looked specifically at how different types of distractions impact drivers ability to see and process their surroundings. Turns out – even listening to music or a passenger in the car can cause a driver to make errors.

Of course, all crashes cannot be blamed on distracted driving. Sometimes car mechanics fail or drivers choose to break the law. This is why it is so important that parents talk to their kids about the different types of scenarios they could come across on the road. What do you do if the car in front of you has a tire blowout and suddenly veers off the road? How do you handle the vehicle if it starts hydroplaning in a rainstorm? What should you do if your car breaks down on the highway? A parent must go over these situations with their young drivers as well as set clear rules, priorities, and boundaries.

Below are a few products that can help avoid unsafe distractions or unforeseen issues (fire) in the car that will give parents peace of mind while letting them fly!

CELL PHONE SEAT-Minimize the Obsession with the Mobile Phone! Did you know according to a poll given by AAA that 94% of teen drivers know the dangers of texting/talking and driving, but 35% admits to doing it anyway. Approximately 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted by their phones! We can’t stay with them 24/7, but we can give them tools to use to be safe! Cell Phone Seat is perfect for any teen. They can drive hands-free while still using the cup holder for water/soda. You can even charge a cell phone while it’s sitting in the Cell Phone Seat. Fits round cup holders three inches or larger in cars, SUVs, trucks, boats, RVs and golf cart. No blocking the dashboard or air vent like other car cell phone holders on the market! Veteran-owned and USA Made Cell Phone Seat is safest way to go!

STAYSAFE’S 5-IN-1 PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHER: Having a portable fire extinguisher in the car and within reach is one of the most effective means to controlling small fires. Lifesafe Technologies StaySafe’s 5-in-1 is a revolutionary, small and easy-to-use, portable fire extinguisher that is no bigger than a can of hairspray.  This extinguisher does not require complicated removal of pins, or time-consuming directions.  Users simply point and spray to extinguish a fire.  The StaySafe 5-in-1 is compact and lightweight. It’s  small enough to fit into car glove compartments, cup holders and door pockets making it ready for use in the event of a fire.

BUDDY BEAT LIGHT: This wonderfully engineered wearable is worn around the neck and illuminates the way (front and back) and is a perfect accessory to have in the car should the car break down at night. Make any activity at night more SAFE! The sporty design has a built-in bluetooth speaker to listen to music or podcasts. In addition it can receive calls when paired to a smartphone. Give the BBL to any teenager for spring/summer travel (also great Fall (Halloween) and Winter when the days are shorter)!

RESQME: Get an emergency car safety tool like RESQME’s keychain hammer that’ll help get you out of the car in an emergency. It includes a razor-sharp seatbelt cutter and tempered glass window breaker. The product is made in the USA and is carried by more than 8-million drivers worldwide.

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