For many teens, the day they get their driver’s license is the most exciting day of their lives so far. It’s their first real taste of freedom as they now have the independence to drive themselves to school, work, or a friend’s house.
However, statistics show that teen drivers are also the population at greatest risk of being in an accident. Due to a combination of inexperience and recklessness, teens have the highest rate of crashes each year of any age group.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15 – 19 year olds in the United States
- Teen drivers aged 16-19 are three times more likely to be in a fatal crash than drivers over the age of 20
- In 2015, 32% of 15 – 20 year old male drivers involved in fatal crashes were speeding, the highest among the age groups represented
TEACH TEENS GOOD DRIVING HABITS
It is important to establish good driving habits early. Set up some ground rules with your teen and remind them:
- Always wear a seat-belt – Not only is it the law, but it is a safety measure that has saved more lives than any other.
- Never text and drive – Research your options for blocking texting on your teen’s phone while they’re driving. Most major cellular providers offer a version of this service; you can set the rule but why not remove the temptation all together?
- Don’t speed – Speeding is a bad habit that can have costly consequences from increased risk of accidents to higher insurance!
AND NO DRINKING AND DRIVING!
Consider taking the opportunity this month to let your teen know, if they find themselves in a situation where they have been drinking, it's more important to you that they don't risk their life and the lives of others by driving home. Consider communicating that they don’t have to fear punishment for making the responsible decision to call their parents for a safe ride home. We realize each parent chooses decisions that are best for their child, but taking this position could be helpful.
Click here to read more about the dangers of impaired driving.