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Health Matters: Teens and Driving Safety

From speed to distractions, to inexperience—health experts say teenagers are three times more likely to have a crash than an adult. “They also get distracted too easily, so we don’t want them to have any other passengers in the car to start out with, they have to have adequate sleep. No alcohol or drugs before they get behind the wheel of that car,” said Syndi Bultman, Lee Health Trauma injury prevention coordinator.

Memorial Day to Labor Day are the deadliest days on the road for teens. “From Memorial Day to Labor Day, typically we have 42 people that are killed in teen crashes each year. We are seeing 15-20 teens that are brought into our Trauma Center,” she said.

Making it important to remind teenagers to wear their seatbelt and follow the rules of the road. “The number one distraction in the car for your teen is the other teen passengers that are with them because they are going to take more risks, actually three times higher amount of risks when they have more passengers that are their age in the vehicle with them,” Bultman said.

It’s also important to make sure teens have plenty of practice driving on different roads at different times. “What we want parents to keep in mind right now, is teens are watching how their parents are driving and as they start driving on their own, they are going to start mimicking the way their parents drive with their behavior,” she said. Crashes can happen in seconds and be life-changing—making it important to talk to teens early and often about safe driving.

View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/ Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care. Visit LeeHealth.org

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