Statistically, teenage drivers have the highest accident rate out of any age group. There could be a number of things that cause this, from inexperience driving to a feeling of invincibility that causes them to do unsafe things.
Regardless of the reason, parents can help their teens to drive in a safer manner by recognizing some of the causes of unsafe driving in teens. The following are some reasons why teens may drive unsafely and how you as a parent can help them to drive safer.
There are many things to take in when learning how to drive. One must always be on alert for unexpected things that could result in an accident. Many teens lack the experience needed to handle unexpected situations. This inexperience can also cause a teen to overcorrect the wheel or misjudge how long it will take to stop the car.
What you can do: As a parent, you can help your teen by making sure they are sufficiently capable of taking to the road before you let them drive by themselves. Make sure they take a driver’s education course, and go on practice drives with them and offer constructive criticism where necessary.
Cell phones are both a blessing and a curse. It’s a good idea to have a cell phone whenever you go anywhere in the car in the event of an emergency and you need to call 911 or get a hold of someone. However, talking on the phone and sending text messages can also be dangerous. Some studies have even shown that talking on the cell phone while driving can be compared to driving while intoxicated. Sending text messages is even worse, and many states are even moving to ban texting and driving.
What you can do: First of all, check your local laws; some states ban teens and talking on a cell phone entirely. Second, make sure your teen has a hands-free device for his or her cell phone, or tell your teen to pull over if he or she needs to make a phone call. Finally, tell your teen that under no circumstances is sending text messages while driving allowed.
Part of the beauty of your teen having a driver’s license in the ability to drive himself to places like school, activities, and social events. Many times, your teen will most likely be joined by friends. Friends can be a distraction to the driver, however.
What you can do: Make sure your teen knows that if driving with friends, he or she is not only responsible for his own life, but that of his passengers as well. If you think it appropriate, you may also want to limit the number of friends your teen is allowed to have in the car at a time.
Seat belts are perhaps the best way to protect yourself in the event of an accident, yet many people still don’t wear them. In most states, failing to wear a seatbelt can result in being ticketed as well.
What you can do: Let your teen know that he or she is not allowed to operate the car without a seatbelt. At the same time, make sure he knows that all of his passengers must have a seatbelt as well.
These are just a few things you can do to help your teen drive safely.