In most states teenagers begin their driving experiences by being issued a learner’s permit. The reasoning behind being issued this learners permit is to encourage a time of learning for your teen. Teens use their learner’s permit to gain experience driving while under the supervision of a responsible adult. While the teen looks forward to being able to graduate from the learner’s permit and gain independence as a driver, parents and other individuals who share the road may think that a teen is not fully prepared to be on the road and putting himself and others at risk after having such a relatively short time of training.
Most people would agree that teenagers are worse drivers than the rest of the population. Some believe that it is simply due to lack of experience, as was just alluded to. Others see reckless behavior on the road as a manifestation of a teen’s feelings of invincibility. Whatever the reasons behind individual formation of these stereotypes of bad teen drivers; those stereotypes are backed up by statistical data. For example, in an average year upwards of 330,000 teens are injured in car accidents in the United States and 68,000 teens have been killed in automobile accidents in the last 10 years (according to the National Highway Safety Administration).
Parents are obviously concerned for the well being of their children and want to do everything possible to ensure that their own children cannot be included in any of these sad statistics. The first step to ensuring safe driving for teens involves parents taking matters in their own hands at home. Parents need to be aware of their teen’s abilities, temperament, sense of responsibility, etc, and then set driving rules accordingly instead of leaving everything to the decision of the state.
Parents need to be responsible for teaching and showing good driving habits by example. Lessons like buckling your safety belt make it two-thirds less likely that your child will be killed if they are in an accident. Teens also need to prove that they are responsible enough to be trusted to drive within the speed limit and even slower in inclement weather. Teens need to show that they are smart enough to understand the dangers of drinking and driving. Parents should never assume that their children will naturally follow some of these most basic rules. Everything about safe driving needs to be discussed. The importance of safe driving can never be over emphasized. It would be better for your teen to grow tired of your reminders than to not be able to recall your council in a time when it is most important.
Safe driving for teens is important for many reasons but perhaps the most compelling reason of all is that car accidents claim the lives of more teens than does any other cause. In fact, it is said that 41% of teen deaths are related to automobile accidents. Few people are untouched by either the death of a teenager or the wake of tragedy that an accident caused by a teen can create. Teaching teens about safe driving is something that can actually save not only their lives, but the lives of their passengers and anyone else that may be sharing the road with them. Teens can become better drivers, and legislation is beginning to catch up when it comes to state mandated teen driving restrictions. But until these statistics become a thing of the past you, the parent, hold your teen’s safety in your hands when you allow them to drive the car. Make sure that you have confidence in their abilities.