The day they get their driver’s license is one of the highlights of a teenager’s life. It represents many things, with freedom being a big one.
However, teenagers are at the highest risk of getting into accidents, and there are numerous contributing factors. Parents and graduated licensing laws can help prevent many crashes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hundreds of teenagers receive injuries from car accidents every day. Numerous factors contribute to the high accident rate, and these include:
- Weekend and nighttime driving
- Drug and alcohol use
Teenage drivers who are at the highest risk of being in a crash are males, those who received their license within the previous month and those who have other teens in the vehicle with them.
Strategies for prevention
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every state has some type of graduated driver licensing system in place. Shown to reduce crash rates by up to 50%, these programs restrict certain driving activities until drivers reach a certain age. Some restrictions include no driving with other teens in the car, no night driving and no cell phone use.
Parents also play a significant role in reducing teenage accidents. Not only should they enforce graduated driver licensing rules, but they can also make their own agreements with their teens. They are role models and should practice good driving habits at all times. They can also introduce their teens to various driving situations. By guiding them through riskier scenarios, the teenage drivers not only get more experience, they also learn how to be better drivers.