While getting their driver’s license is a highlight for many teenagers, it should be a scary time for other drivers on the road. Due to a number of factors, teenage drivers pose the highest risk on the road when compared to other age groups.
To help reduce the risk, there are steps in place to help reduce accidents.
Factors involved with high driving risk
According to the Centers for Disease Control, motor vehicle accidents cause the most fatalities in teenagers, with six teens dying every day. The biggest reason is that drivers under the age of 20 lack the experience needed to deal with all driving situations. Other factors that increase the risk of accidents include
- Driving at night
- Operating the vehicle when other teenagers are present
- Driving while tired or impaired
- Driving while distracted
Steps to reduce risk of crashes
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, one of the steps states are taking is to place restrictions on licenses via Graduated Driver Licensing programs. These may limit the hours a teen can drive as well as the number of passengers allowed.
Parents play a major role in improving a teenager’s driving skills. Parents should accompany their teens to help them gain more experience behind the wheel. Expose them to different scenarios, such as nighttime, rush hour, highway driving and construction zones, and guide them.
Parents play a role even before their teenager has a license. Demonstrating good driving habits, such as wearing a seatbelt, refraining from texting and following speed limits, will help set a good example for the future.
Parents should have discussions about safe driving and set up restrictions. It helps to have a driving agreement that lays out certain rules such as no phones, no teen passengers, no alcohol or drugs, no speeding and 100% seatbelt use. Make sure to outline consequences if the teen breaks one of the rules.