What Is the Risk?
So, what is the risk for teenage drivers? Well, newly licensed drivers, young drivers with teen passengers, and males between the ages of 16 and 19 have been most at risk of dangerous driving and auto accidents. This can be largely due to inexperience, distractions, and even driving at night.
Over 75 percent of serious teen driver accidents have been due to critical errors that involved one of the behaviors we have listed above. Many believe most teen crashes are due to aggressive driving, but that is not typically the case.
When your teen has more passengers in the vehicle, this equates to greater distractions, resulting in a higher risk of auto accidents. To avoid this, limit the number of passengers your teen can have with them while driving and explain to them the risks involved when there are too many distractions.
Behaviors Putting Young Drivers at Risk
It is important to understand the kind of behavior that can put a young driver at risk so you can open a dialogue with your teen and discuss it with them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have said that drivers between 15 and 24 years of age only represent approximately 14 percent of our population nationwide.
However, they are still responsible for over 30 percent of all injured male drivers' costs and 28 percent of the cost of injuries for female drivers.
The following can put teen drivers at risk:
• Drunk driving
• Underestimating a dangerous situation
• Following too closely
• Reckless driving
• Distracted driving
You must speak with your teens about these behaviors and discuss ways they can be avoided. This conversation can significantly impact their driving habits and help keep them safe while on the road.
It has been found that teens who choose to take a more active role in driver training are more likely to wear their seatbelt.
Even if you take the time to talk to your teen, accidents can and do still happen. There isn't one surefire way we can prevent all auto accidents, and that applies to adults as well as teenagers. However, that doesn’t minimize the power a good conversation can have with your teen when it comes to them recognizing bad driving habits and changing those habits to lessen their risk.
Teaching good driving habits now can make a difference when it comes to protecting your new driver. So, don't hesitate to be vocal with your teen, and don't be afraid to put your foot down when it comes to driving rules and exceptions.