I have been very concerned about the burgeoning evidence of the dangers of being distracted while driving.
My concerns have been buttressed by a new report.
A national survey of more than 5,600 high school students conducted by an alliance between The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies indicates that high school students are routinely driving under highly dangerous conditions.
Teens who participated in the study say they routinely drive while fatigued and while talking on cell phones, and that they let strong emotions cloud their judgment. Many also admitted that they are not wearing seatbelts.
The National Teen Driver Survey represents 10.6 million 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students in U.S. public high schools.
The survey results are available as a downloadable report on Keeping Young Drivers Safe, a new Web site for parents and educators from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia/State Farm alliance. The site is packed with practical information on developing a plan that will enable new drivers to develop the skills and habits they need to stay safe.
You can also visit the site at www.chop.edu/youngdrivers, where you will find information on working with a new driver to set goals and rules; developing a timeline for parent-guided driving lessons; and developing a parent/teen driving agreement.