Every year the number of teen driver related accidents goes up. Sadly this leads to an increased death rate for drivers under the age of 18. It has been reported that teens are three times as likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than all other drivers in the United States.
There are many reasons why teens are at a greater risk and they all mostly come down to maturity. Parts of the brain that control our judgement ability and inhibition aren’t fully developed until a person reaches their mid twenties. Drivers are more inclined to act impulsively without concern of consequences (judgement) when driving down the road. Most teens feel invincible and don’t stop to think that their actions could easily harm others or themselves.
Parents can be a huge influence over their teenager when it comes to driving, whether they think they are listening or not. Typically the vehicle actually belongs to the parent and is their responsibility. Teaching your children that driving is a privilege is important and it can be revoked at any given time. Having regular “talks” with your teen, or even having them sign a written “contract”, can help establish the ground rules and consequences for misbehavior.
Cellphones have become a huge issue with drivers of all ages. Teenagers are at the most risk due to their high usage of texting. Teach your children that any text can wait and that their phone should stay in their pocket or purse until they reach their destination.
Drinking and driving is also a big concern for many parents. Teens aren’t oblivious to the dangers of driving while intoxicated but it still happens. Installing a back up plan with your child, if they were to get in a situation where they needed a ride is crucial to keeping your teenager safe.
Keeping the communication line between you and your driving teenager is extremely important. Teenagers are very impressionable and often follow by example. If you do not have any children, but you know teens, express your feelings on the subject and share your safe driving tips and tricks.