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Teen Driver Safety Tips

Teen Driver Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Teenage Drivers

The average teen knows their way around a car, and millions take to the road every day. Unfortunately, statistics show that drivers aged 16 to 19 are most at-risk of being involved in a serious car accident.

Teen drivers are more likely to get into car accidents compared to the average driver due to the fact that they are easily distracted, are more likely to be driving with a group of raucous and loud friends, as well as more likely to be driving while intoxicated.

The statistics are startling: it is estimated that car accidents are the leading cause of teen deaths for 15-18 year olds, which eclipses things like violence, disease, and other types of injuries. Close to 100,000 teen passenger drivers are injured in car accidents on a year-to-year basis, making this an epidemic that parents simply cannot ignore.

Here are some of the risk factors which raise the risk of teen deaths from automobile crashes:

  1. Distracted drivingDistracted driving can be defined as operating a vehicle without giving the task at hand your full attention. Drivers can become distracted by a mobile phone, talking with other passengers, eating while driving, or simply not paying attention to the road. A momentary glance at an iPhone can lead to a serious accident which can cost a driver their life, as well as the lives of other innocent motorists.
  2. Alcohol use – While drunk driving is obviously a huge risk factor for crashes, we know that teenagers will almost always make impulsive decisions regarding alcohol use. As a result, many teens choose to get behind the wheel after downing a couple of beers and expect to be able to drive carefully. Alcohol impairs your spatial depth which can make it hard to judge how far or near a car is in relation to yours, and it can also slow down your reaction time, both of which can lead to serious car accidents.
  3. Speeding – It’s estimated that of all teen drivers involved in accidents in 2015, close to one third were speeding at the time of the collision. This can be attributed to the natural propensity for teenagers to take unreasonable risks, even when they know what may transpire if they do.
  4. Drowsy driving – Owing to the busy schedules that most teens keep, getting behind the wheel while tired from studying too hard (or partying) is not uncommon. That being said, driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk.

Connect with Your Child

It is important to teach your teens the importance of making sound decisions, especially when it comes to driving. Make it clear to them that there are consequences to their decisions and actions and that they should choose wisely. Teaching your child the risks associated with driving is not a one-time effort either; do it as often as you can, and make sure they take you seriously.

As a teen, please remember that driving is a privilege and not a right. Make sure you’re completely focused on the task of driving, and know the rules of the road before you get behind the wheel of a car. Remember, you only have one opportunity at life. Do not let a momentary lapse in judgment cost you everything.

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