While getting their driver’s license is a very exciting time for teenagers, it may be scarier for the parents, and for good reason. Teen drivers pose a high risk to themselves and others on the road, and parents can do their part to reduce serious and fatal accidents.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, hundreds of teenagers suffer from injuries, and six teens die, every day due to motor vehicle accidents. In fact, compared to other drivers, teenagers have the highest risk of being in a collision.
There are numerous reasons for this spike in accident risk among teens. The biggest one is inexperience, and brand-new drivers are more likely to get into accidents than those who have had their license for a couple of years. Other risk factors include the lack of seat belt use, speeding, nighttime driving and alcohol use.
To help combat risky driving among teenagers, every state has a graduated driver licensing system. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discusses that parents also play a major role in improving safety. Although it may not seem like it, teens look to their parents to set an example, so parents should demonstrate what good driving looks like by following all the rules of the road and refraining from distracting behavior like phone use.
Parents should also help their teens gain experience by taking them out driving on a regular basis. This includes guiding them through more challenging driving situations such as nighttime, rush hour, construction sites and inclement weather. The more teenagers drive in these circumstances, the more skills they gain.