7 Tips to Keep Teen Drivers Safe
Getting your driver’s license is a rite of passage for most teenagers. It’s a significant life achievement and marks a major step towards independence. Teens no longer have to rely on their parents for rides to and from places. Having a license also opens up many opportunities for teens, such as getting a job. However, while getting a driver’s license is exciting, teen drivers face more risks than adults.
Most of these risks come down to inexperience. While they have to learn how to drive and about traffic laws, they don’t have real-world experience. This inexperience often leads to car accidents, many of which are fatal. As a parent, nothing is scarier than the thought of losing your child in a car accident.
It’s not that you don’t trust your child, but you know what it’s like to be a teen driver and the excitement (and anxiety) that comes with it. Plus, while you may trust your child, the same can’t be said for others on the road. And without that experience, your child may not be able to react fast enough to avoid disaster.
AMA Law understands the dangers teen drivers face. While getting your license is an exciting moment for all teens, it’s a big responsibility. For parents, we want to help ease your fears by providing tips to keep teen drivers safe. However, if your teen is involved in a car accident, contact our Oklahoma car accident law firm and let us fight for you.
Teen Car Accident Statistics
Unfortunately, teen drivers are involved in countless car accidents every day. Whether from inexperience or someone else’s negligence or recklessness, teens find themselves in these accidents more often than most adults.
Here are some telling teen car accident statistics:
- According to the CDC, the risk of car accidents is higher among teens aged 16-19 than any other age group.
- Crash risk is significantly higher within the first few months of licensure.
- Crash per mile driven is 1.5 times higher for 16-17-year-olds than for 18-19-year-olds.
- Nearly 2,500 teens between the ages of 13-19 died in fatal car accidents in 2018.
- Nearly 285,000 teens had to seek treatment in emergency rooms for injuries suffered in car accidents in 2018.
- Every day, seven teens between the ages of 13-19 die in fatal car accidents.
- The fatal crash rate per mile driven is almost three times higher for 16–19-year-olds than for drivers older than 20.
- About two out of three teenagers that died in car accidents in 2018 were male.
- In 2018, teen drivers made up 7% of motor vehicle crash deaths.
- The estimated percentage of drivers that suffered fatal injuries in car accidents ages 16-17 with a BAC at or above .08 was 16% in 2018.
While the rate of car accidents across the board has gone down significantly, teen car accidents are still a risk. Teen drivers’ lack of experience puts them in a risky position. If they are driving in inclement weather, poor road conditions, or around aggressive drivers, they don’t have the experience to respond accordingly, which puts them in harm’s way. That is why we are here to provide useful safety tips to keep your teen driver safe.
Most experts recognize that teen drivers find it easy to steer and maneuver a car. However, teens struggle with scanning their environment, predicting danger, and making responsible and smart decisions. Remember, this is no fault of their own. They don’t have the experience to do these things well.
Fortunately, there are ways you can help keep your teen driver safe. While you might not always be with them, you can provide them with useful information and skills to keep them safe. Some safety tips you can use or remind them of include:
1.) Always Buckle Up:
Wearing a seatbelt can reduce your risk of suffering a fatal accident by 45%. It can also reduce your risk of moderate to critical injury by 50%. You can’t control the actions of others. But wearing a seatbelt helps protect them in case of an emergency. While teaching your teen, make sure they get into the habit of wearing a seatbelt.
2.) Avoid All Distractions:
Distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives in 2018. A 2017 survey revealed that nearly 40% of high school students reported texting while driving. Remove all distractions, including texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting the radio, applying makeup, etc. Remind them to keep their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road, and mind on driving.
3.) Avoid Nighttime Driving:
Driving at night is difficult, even for experienced drivers. Until you feel comfortable with their skills, keep them from driving at night. Help build up their confidence and skills by offering them supervised hands-on experience driving at night.
4.) Slow Down:
Speed is often a factor in many car accidents. Teens don’t have a good gauge on how fast is too fast. In most cases, they look to their parents and copy what they do. While driving with your teen driver, follow the speed limit to set a good example. When teaching them, always remind them to be conscious of their speed.
5.) Limit Passengers:
In many cases, the more passengers in a car, the greater the risk of an accident. Teen drivers are easily distracted, especially when other people are in the car. Limit how many passengers they can have in the car at first to keep them focused. Over time, you can allow them to drive with more people in the car.
6.) Never Drink and Drive:
While it is illegal for teenagers to drink, many still do. Furthermore, some teens get behind the wheel of a car after drinking. Set a good example yourself by never driving after consuming alcohol, no matter how little you drank. Remind them of the dangers of drinking and driving and how it lowers your reaction time and critical thinking.
7.) Hands-on Practice:
Many scenarios require a certain level of skill that most new drivers don’t have. Give your teen supervised hands-on practice driving at night, on different road conditions, in different weather, and much more. Remember, do not give them more than they can handle.
Contact AMA Law
All teens look forward to getting their driver’s license and finally being able to drive. While exciting, teen drivers and parents both need to understand the risks teens face on the road. Due to their inexperience, they are more likely to make a mistake or respond incorrectly to their environment. Nobody wants to see their child in an accident, which is why we have provided these safety tips.
However, if your teen finds themselves in a car accident, contact one of our Oklahoma car accident attorneys at AMA Law to learn how we can help.