Nothing is more thrilling than getting a driver’s license as a teen. However, other drivers may not be quite as thrilled, and for good reason.
Teenagers are the highest-risk drivers on the road and are a major cause of serious and fatal accidents. Fortunately, there are some ways to improve their driving abilities and reduce the number of crashes.
Teenage driver facts
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an average of six teenagers lose their lives each day due to car accidents. The risk of collisions is highest in the first year after a teen gets the license, and the biggest cause of crashes is inexperience. Other causes include driving distracted, driving with other passengers in the vehicle, driving at night and driving under the influence.
Methods to reduce risk
One of the biggest ways to reduce the risk that teen drivers pose is to involve the parents. Since inexperience is the leading cause of crashes, parents can play a role in increasing the number of hours behind the wheel. The CDC recommends that parents accompany the teen for a minimum of 30 hours and that they guide the driver through different driving circumstances.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, parents can also help by setting a good example when behind the wheel themselves. This includes using a seatbelt, following all traffic laws and refraining from distracting behaviors such as cellphone use.
Another method that helps reduce accidents is the graduated driver licensing system. This restricts certain driving circumstances, such as driving with other teens in the car and nighttime driving, until the teenager gains more experience. Parents can support this by making a driving agreement and outlining consequences for not following the rules.