The 11th National Teen Driver Safety Week begins this week and focuses its attention on reminding parents to talk to their young drivers of the additional steps needed to prevent accidents. Too often, these young drivers inexperience lead to poor decisions and actions behind the wheel, leaving them more susceptible to being involved in an accident, some of them fatal. Today, we’re discussing not only the problems and challenges are youth face behind the wheel of an automobile but what we can all do to better equip them for successfully gaining the experience they need.
How Big Is The Problem?
- Currently, automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for teens from 15 years old to 18 years old in the US.
- On average, 9 teens ages 16-19 are killed every day of the year.
- 47% of teens killed in a car accident were not wearing their seat belt.
- 6 out of 10 teen crashes involve distracted driving including engaging with other passengers, using a cell phone, searching for something in the vehicle, looking for something outside the vehicle, singing or dancing to music, grooming themselves and reaching for something.
- 16 year olds are higher crash rates than any other age group with 1 in 5 of them getting in an accident in their first year of driving.
- 50% of all teens will be involved in at least auto accident before they graduate.
- More than 40% of those accidents will occur between the hours of 9pm and 6am.
- The Risk of a teen being involved in a crash increases with every mile per hour over the speed limit they travel.
- 25% fatal of accidents with a teen driver involves the use of alcohol.
- Buckle up – Seatbelts are one of the easiest ways to increase your odds of reducing injuries and surviving a crash no matter what your age. A shocking 45% of fatalities are avoided by using one as a driver or as a passenger and 50% of serious injuries are avoided while doing the same. Remind your teen to always buckle up behind the wheel of the vehicle and while they are a passenger every single time with no exceptions. Additional data suggests that teens who have parents that model good seat belt behavior are 50% more likely to buckle up as well on their own, so parents keep wearing your seat belt if you want them to also wear one.
- Lock up the phone – Removing the phone as an element in the vehicle will reduce the odds of it becoming a distraction to the driver. While many suggest that teens should power off their phones while behind the wheel, we recommend locking it in the glove box, trunk or back seat in a bag instead so that any app that’s been installed on the phone to monitor the teens driving behavior can still collect data such as phone use, location, speed, rapid stops and rapid accelerations. This data can help a parent better monitor how their young driver is behaving while they are alone on the roads and give a better indication of risky or troublesome behavior exhibited by the teen.
- Reduce the passengers – While it may be tempting to allow your teen to drive friends or younger siblings to school or other events, the truth is that even one additional teenager in the vehicle increases their odds of being involved in an accident by 48% and shockingly by 307% with three teens in the vehicle. Consider safety over convenience when sending your young driver off with the car keys and reduce their risks by simply saying no to more kids in the vehicle. Rather than letting your teen think you’re just being mean, be sure to emphasize to them that regardless if they see them in that light, other teens in the vehicle are a dangerous distraction.
5 Rules Of The Road To Avoid Distractions
- No cell phone used while driving.
- No extra passengers.
- No speeding.
- No alcohol or driving under the influence and no riding with others who are.
- No driving or riding as a passenger without wearing a seatbelt every single time they get in a vehicle.
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