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Stay Safe this Holiday Season

Tips from CDC's Injury Center on motor vehicle safety can help you protect yourself, your passengers, and your family and friends. Whether you're headed around town, out of town, or out to celebrate, we wish you a safe holiday season.

Protect Your Passengers

Graphic: When it comes to protecting children from road-traffic injuries...Whenever you're on the road this holiday season, remember to always buckle up. Wearing your seat belt can reduce your risk of dying in a crash by about half. Also, make sure your young passengers are buckled into appropriate safety seats. The safest place for children of any age to ride is properly restrained in the back seat. Data show that child safety seats reduce the risk of death in car crashes by 71% for infants and 54% for toddlers ages one to four.

Learn more about child passenger safety and CDC's research and activities in this area.

Photo: Handing over car keysCelebrate Safely

During the holiday season, and year-round, take steps to make sure that you and everyone you celebrate with avoids driving under the influence of alcohol. Following these tips can help you stay safe:

  • Plan ahead. Always designate a non-drinking driver before any holiday party or celebration begins.
  • Take the keys. Don't let friends drive if they are impaired.
  • Be a helpful host. If you're hosting a party this holiday season, remind your guests to plan ahead and designate their sober driver; offer alcohol-free beverages; and make sure all of your guests leave with a sober driver.

Learn more about alcohol-impaired driving and CDC's research and activities in this area.

Photo: A young driver with her fatherKnow That Parents Are the Key

This holiday season, and throughout the year, talk with your teen about the dangers of driving—and keep the conversation going. CDC also encourages you to take these steps to help keep your teen driver safe:

  • Extend your teen's supervised driving period. Help your teen develop the skills he or she needs by providing as many supervised practice driving hours as possible. Include at least 30 to 50 hours of practice over at least six months. Make sure to practice on a variety of road conditions and at different times of day.
  • Set the rules of the road. Practicing driving will empower your teen. But your rules will provide much needed limits to keep him or her safe. Support the rules that most states have for new teen drivers by including the following:
    • Make sure your teen always wears a seat belt.
    • Limit your teen's nighttime driving.
    • Restrict the number of teen passengers allowed in the car.
  • Enforce the rules with a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement [PDF - 215 KB]. Discuss your rules of the road with your teen. Talk about why they are important to follow, as well as consequences for breaking the rules. Work with your teen to draft and sign a parent-teen driving agreement. You may choose to hang yours on the refrigerator door to highlight the importance of safe driving. Let your teen know that following the rules and driving safely will result in greater driving privileges.

Join the conversation about safe teen driving on Facebook: www.facebook.com/cdcparentsarethekey.

Learn more about a CDC's Parents Are the Key campaign and other research and activities in this area.

More Information

  • Page last reviewed: December 12, 2011
  • Page last updated: December 12, 2011
  • Content source:
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