Most teenagers love the independence and freedom that comes with having their driver’s license. However, teenage drivers pose a high risk to themselves and other drivers on the road.
There are many causes of accidents for this age group, and inexperience is a main one. Fortunately, there are things that the state and parents can do to reduce the risks.
Facts about teenage drivers
According to the Insurance Information Institute, although teenage drivers make up the lowest percentage of drivers, they have the highest percentage of fatal crashes. Among fatalities, almost half of the drivers had some amount of alcohol in their system, and 47% of them were not wearing seatbelts.
Strategies to improve safety
One of the ways to help reduce fatal and non-fatal accidents among teenagers is by employing a graduated licensing system. This program delays the age of licensing and puts restrictions on driving with other teens in the car and at night.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association, parents play a big role in keeping teens safe and increasing their time and experience behind the wheel. Along with understanding and enforcing the rules of a graduated licensing program, parents should accompany the teenager during different driving situations. These include busy traffic, construction zones, inclement weather and nighttime. This helps the teen improve basic driving skills and feel more comfortable in riskier conditions.
Distracted driving is another cause of accidents. While driving, parents should refrain from using the phone, eating and other distracting behavior to set a good example. Parents should also talk to their kids about the dangers of driving while distracted and under the influence of drugs and alcohol.