More US teens die in car accidents than from any other cause, and many of these deaths are preventable. In fact, teens also typically have higher accident rates than any other age group.
As a parent, your goal is likely to keep your children safe, and this is more complicated when they receive their driver’s licenses. Therefore, these are common causes of teen motor vehicle accidents and ways you can prepare your young adult for the road.
Common accident causes
The CDC and other insurance and road safety organizations have identified several factors that contribute to the high rate of teen driving accidents. First, most young people lack the experience necessary to navigate the roads safely, especially at night and on the weekends.
They may have difficulty navigating hazardous areas and situations, especially at first. In addition, they tend to have higher distraction rates. For example, many are on their cell phones or texting while they drive, and passengers in the vehicle can also be a distraction. Teens tend to drive recklessly, e.g., speeding and driving too close to other vehicles.
Many young adults avoid using their seatbelts. In addition, they are often less concerned with driving or riding in vehicles with drivers who are under the influence.
Your best strategies for preparing your teen are education and practice. First, educate your children on the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt, driving under the influence and distracted driving, e.g., texting while driving. Discuss dangerous roadways and hazards to watch for.
To increase your child’s safety, choose a vehicle that has a high safety rating, and spend time practicing with your teen at all hours and in all weather conditions. Load the vehicle with safety devices, such as a tool to escape entrapment.