Today, it’s much more dangerous to be a teenager driver. Research has shown that the risk of becoming a driver is greatest at 16 years old. Teenagers between 16-17 years old have a four-fold higher crash rate per mile than drivers aged 20 and older. The fatal crash rate per miles is four times higher.
This is the information you should know about safety for teens and parents of teens before you take the wheel in 2021.
Facts about teens driving
- Teen drivers Between the ages 16 and 19, the greatest risk of motor vehicle accidents is for them. (CDC).
- In 2018, around 2,500 teenagers were killed in motor vehicle accidents. Another 297,000 suffered non-fatal injuries. (NHTSA).
- Motor vehicle injuries that involved adolescents aged 12-19 years in 2018 cost $12 billion in medical expenses and lost wages. (CDC).
What parents should know about teenage driving safety
There are many things that you as a parent can do to help your teenager driver. By improving skills and experience, more training can prevent accidents.
Teen driver crashes: Causes
Teen drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident than adults for a variety of reasons. Teenagers are less experienced and educated when it comes to driving and they often don’t engage in defensive driving behavior that could save their lives.
Three major mistakes teens make behind the wheel are speeding, distraction and failing to see around them. These factors together account for 75% all fatal teen crashes.
The following factors are also responsible for teens getting into trouble:
- Immaturity. Teen drivers lack maturity. They are less likely to see the consequences of their actions, and they are more likely to speed up and engage in reckless driving behavior.
- Drunk driving Teens may not be able to spot signs of fatigue as well as more experienced drivers. Drowsy Driving is more common in college students who have to commute long distances.
- Driving impaired. alcohol is another factor that contributes to teen car accidents. Teenage drivers with blood alcohol concentrations of 0.079% to 0.05% are 12x more likely to die in single-vehicle accidents than those who don’t drink.
- Inexperience. Teenagers between 16 and 19 years old are four-times more likely to die in a fatal car crash at night than during the day. The fatal crash rate for teens aged 16-19 years is almost three times that of adults aged 30-59.
- Distracted driving. Distracted driving crashes involving a teen driver is responsible for more than half of all teen passenger fatalities. Studies show that teens with passengers are more likely to cause an accident than adults.
Parents are the key
With some extra guidance and parental guidance, parents can help teens avoid many of these dangers.
- Night driving: You can spend time driving together at night to give your teen tips, and help them get used to driving on the roads at night.
- Restrictions: Make sure your teen is safe by imposing restrictions such as a limit on solo driving hours or a restriction on the number of passengers.
- In-vehicle Monitoring: You can check in on your vehicle at any moment to make sure there aren’t any unsafe activities. It can monitor your teen’s driving habits and send you reports to assess their safety behind the wheel. Some cars are equipped with parental controls.
Safety belts for teens
The most life-saving tool in the car is the seat belt. Make sure you remind your teenager to use it regularly. Research shows that 40% of teens don’t wear a seatbelt when they are riding in the car as passengers. This can lead to a bad habit that can be repeated when those teens get behind the wheel. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that seat belts can reduce your risk of serious injury and death by half.
Safety tips for teens driving
Teen drivers can also learn some tips to make safer driving.
- Select a safer vehicle. The IIHS found that certain vehicles are safer than others. Most teens drive older-model vehicles without newer safety features. Choose a bigger vehicle with more safety features and a newer model.
- Avoid passengers. Teens should not have passengers. They should drive alone so that they can concentrate on the road and the surroundings. There are some driving restrictions in certain states that prevent teens from taking other young adults with them.
- Do not drink and drive. Impaired driving increases the chance of a fatal accident and can cause thousands of dollars of damage. Talk with your teens about safe alternatives to impaired driving and create a plan.
- Make seat belt use mandatory. By buckling up, you can cut down on the chance of serious or fatal injuries. Make it a habit to use seat belts whenever you’re in the car with your teenagers until it becomes second-nature.
- Your teen should get plenty of sleep. According to the National Safety Council, drowsy driving causes 100,000 accidents, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths each year. Before your teen takes to the roads, make sure they get plenty of sleep.
- Encourage cell phone use. They can be a distraction that can cause serious injury if they aren’t controlled. To prevent your teen from using their phone while driving, you can install restrictions on their phone.
- Teach your teens about the car. Make sure your teenager is familiar with the controls and features of the car before they get in the car. You can teach them how to adjust the seat, mirrors, and where turn signals, windshield wipers, and hazard lights are located so they don’t have to look for them all at once.
With your teen, create a driving agreement
The parent-teen driving arrangement is a tool that can be especially useful for teens and their families. The contract makes sure that the caregiver and the teen agree on the expectations and terms regarding driving privileges. This contract allows for discussion about the risks involved in driving as well as tips on what to do if you need to. You can add restrictions and rules to your agreement, such as night driving limits, which you can modify over time depending on the experience and growth of your teen driver.
Teen driving courses
Teen driver programs and defensive driving classes are just a few of the many options available to teens.
- State-approved programs
- Online courses: Teens can learn from online tutorials or classes from their homes. There are many providers that offer interactive instruction and they also offer online classes.
- Programs that provide ongoing support: A great resource for helping your teen develop good habits through classes, workshops and conferences is a program that provides ongoing support.
You may find that some communities offer teen driver programs to educate and inform teens in a group setting.
Graduated driver license
Graduated driver license has been a very popular program and has been successful in many states. This program allows teens to get a partial driver’s license under the supervision and supervision of licensed drivers.
Graduated driver licensing is a common practice in all 50 states. The following is what most states require:
- Minimum age for obtaining a permit is 16
- Minimum age for intermediate license is 17
- Night driving restrictions after 8 p.m.
- No teens passengers
- At least 70 hours of driving instruction are required
Graduated licensing was created to decrease the number of inexperienced teens driving on the roads.
Parents can be supportive by spending time behind the wheel with their children, sharing their experiences and helping their teens become more comfortable driving.