If you’re like most parents, then you’ve had at least a little anxiety about handing over the keys and letting your teenage driver loose on the roads. And there’s a good reason for your worries. Studies have shown that drivers ages 15-18 are more likely to be involved in motor vehicle accidents than other age groups.
To make your life easier as a parent, we summarize the top causes of accidents for teens ranked by their frequency and severity (this does not necessarily mean these are the most dangerous). By having this knowledge, you will be better equipped to ensure your teen is a safe driver and knows what to do in an emergency.
One of the most common causes of teen driving accidents is inexperience. Inexperience is a leading factor, as teens have not had the same time behind the wheel as adult drivers. Thus, they are not used to driving on open roads with cars and trucks whizzing by at unbelievably high speeds. As such, they make mistakes that adults would probably avoid.
If your teenager gets involved in an accident, learn how a Long Island car accident lawyer can help. Since this is probably a new situation for them, your child could use expert legal guidance in dealing with the crash.
Nighttime and Weekend Driving
Studies have shown that approximately 40% of all teen drivers involved in fatal car accidents have been driving between 9 pm and 6 am. Several factors may be at play here. For one, teens are usually less experienced drivers. As such, they are more likely to have difficulty driving at night.
The number of distractions and obstacles tends to be greater at night. Also, many parents give their teen drivers rather lenient curfews, allowing them to drive late at night after being in bed.
Ignoring Safety Belts
According to studies, teens are less likely to fasten their seatbelts while driving. They assume that they do not need to wear seat belts because they are young and healthy.
Others think that the belts do not look cool or may interfere with their driving. They might also not see the importance of wearing a seatbelt because they are far away from potential accidents. They increase the chances of being injured in an accident if it happens.
Driving is not just a right but a privilege that comes with various responsibilities. Unfortunately, it appears that many teens do not realize how dangerous careless driving can be. According to recent studies, distracted driving has been accountable for causing two-thirds of all teen driving accidents in the last decade.
Although “distracted driving” can take many different forms, texting and using phones while driving is the most common kind. Coming in the second place is “impaired driving,” which includes alcohol use before getting behind the wheel.
As per research, speeding was involved in 32% of teen driver accidents. Teens who reported speeding at least occasionally were three times more likely than other teen drivers to have an accident.
Teenagers often overestimate their driving ability and underestimate the dangers of speeding. Driver training classes can help reduce this dangerous risk-taking behavior, but you can’t rely on the new driver’s parent to always be there – you need to step in as the “copilot.”
Establish a Healthy Set of Driving Habits
The most effective way to reduce your child’s risk of causing an accident is to establish a healthy set of driving habits. These behaviors will increase their life expectancy and improve their chances of avoiding severe accidents.
The best way to do this? Be preemptive and influence your teen before they’re on the road. By setting clear boundaries, monitoring his driving experience, and talking with him about safety risks, you’ll be able to encourage safe, responsible driving at every turn.
Ultimately, the statistics may differ based on where you live. However, the data can provide insight into what type of driving habits your teen driver should focus on changing. It’s also important to remember that many other things contribute to teen driving accidents.
Therefore, if your teen is a new driver, make sure that you are aware of their driving habits, and point out any unsafe actions. Having a conversation about safe driving with your teen can be nerve-racking and uncomfortable, but it’s worth it if you can help them become a safer driver in the long run.