Do you have a teen who is getting a license soon?
As a parent, handing over the keys to a car to your teen driver can be terrifying. The risks a new driver faces are much higher than drivers over the age of 20. In fact, research shows that teen drivers (age 15-19) are nearly three times more likely to get in a car accident than drivers older than 20.
You’ve read the horrifying statistics, heard the heartbreaking stories of teens who have been seriously injured or killed while driving — but what can you do to help your teen be safe while driving (without locking their car keys away forever)?
Here are the top three risks new drivers face, by becoming aware of these risks, you can help your new driver be better prepared to handle the dangers that wait on the road.
Of the teens aged 16-19 who died in a fatal car accident in 2014, 53% of them were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident. By choosing not to wear a seatbelt, a teen driver cut their chances of survival in a motor accident in half. As a parent or friend, you can encourage your teen to remember to wear their seatbelt. Teen drivers with involved parents are twice as likely to wear a seatbelt. So be involved in your teen’s life!
A huge problem for many teens who are accidents is distractions. Whether it is cell phone use, being distracted by something inside or outside the car, or other passengers — they are all distractions that raise the risk for a motor accident. The risk of an accident with a teen driver goes up with every teen passenger that enters the vehicle. To limit these distractions, teens can avoid using their phone while driving at anytime and limit the amount of teen passengers they have in their vehicle for at least the first 6 months of driving.
Inexperience and Reckless Driving
When a teen receives his/her license, they often have had little experience behind the wheel and therefore have a more difficult time recognizing and adapting to hazardous situations. This also leads to more reckless driving as teens are more likely to speed and drive too close behind the vehicle in front of them. By allowing your new driver to practice driving with you and in many different situations, they can be better prepared for the hazards they may come across on the road.