The number of fatal car accidents involving teenagers is typically disproportionate to the number of teen drivers on the road. They crash at a higher rate than other age groups and many of these accidents are incredibly serious. Even non-fatal wrecks lead to significant injuries, both for teens and others.
One thing you may think when looking at these dire facts is that parents should step up and make sure that teens drive safely. The problem, though, is that parents may think they’re doing just that. Teenagers may even drive safely with adults in the car, but they can fall into some bad habits on their own. As some experts have worryingly put it: “Their parents generally don’t even know there’s a problem.”
Problematic driving habits
Wondering exactly which bad habits pose a threat? Here are a few key responses from a recent survey:
- Teens who admitted that they broke the speed limit: 71 percent
- Teens who admitted to aggressive driving: 36 percent
- Teens who admitted to road rage: 31 percent
- Teens who did not bother to put on their seatbelts: 18 percent
- Teens who said they had three or more friends in the car with them: 67 percent
All of these actions can lead to injuries. Having friends in the car can distract teens from the road; breaking the speed limit can reduce reaction times. Road rage can lead to confrontations, aggressive driving and intentional accidents. The risks are enormous.
The parental disconnect
These risks go right over parents’ heads. For instance, they were asked if their own children would break the speed limit. A mere 38 percent said that they would. Clearly, roughly half of the parents of speeders understood that the problem even existed. When asked if their kids were aggressive drivers, just 16 percent of parents admitted that their kids drove that way.
Teens don’t recognize the dangers
What’s more is that teens themselves don’t know how dangerous they are. When asked if they thought that they drove safely, a massive 89 percent of teens said that they did. Remember, as noted above, 71 percent said they broke the speed limit.
What this tells you is that teenage drivers do not think that the risks they take are actually risks. They think that speeding and even road rage are safe activities to engage in. That’s why these habits become so ingrained. They honestly do not understand that they need to break them or why they should do so.
Accidents and injuries
Did you get into an accident with a reckless teen driver? Are you dealing with high medical bills, lost wages and other costs? If so, make sure you know what steps to take to seek financial compensation.