25 Jun 3 Main Reasons Teenage Drivers Crash – and What You Can Do About It
Teen drivers crash three times more often than drivers age 20 years or older per mile driven. But what leads to that higher accident rate? And, what can you do as a parent to try and help your teens avoid accidents or incidents?
- Speeding –
- For many teens, driving fast is just part of driving (and part of being a teen.) However, excessive speed is a factor in about one-third of teens’ fatal crashes.
- What Can You Do? As a parent, you’ll want to model the right behaviors and be explicit about what you expect from your teen. Don’t drive over the speed limit yourself – and let them know that you expect them to stay under all speed limits too.
- Risky Habits –
- Although teens are less likely to drink and drive than adults, their crash risk is higher when they do. The combination of drinking and driving is twice as bad for teens, since they have less experience with both drinking and with driving. But that’s not the only risk your teenage driver might face. Other distractions can be just as fatal.
- What Can You Do? Again, model the behavior you want them to use and reinforce your expectations of your teen. Don’t drink and drive. Don’t text, make phone calls, eat, or get distracted while you drive – and maybe they won’t either.
- Inexperience – Teens often crash because they don’t know what to do to get out or stay out of trouble when something happens quickly. They’re more likely to crash at night and with young passengers in the car too.
- What Can You Do? Give them lots of supervised driving time with you, both day time and night time. The more experience they have with you or other adult drivers, the better drivers they’ll become. You may also want to limit your teen’s night time driving and ability to drive with other teens in the car – since both increase the risk of teen car accidents.