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Risks Facing New Teen Drivers

Studies reveal that teen driving crashes is reaching a crisis level. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of fatalities among teens throughout the U.S. The Institute for Highway Safety reveals that drivers aged 16 to 19 are about three times as like to be in a fatal car accident.

Statistics only add to parents’ already existing anxiety when their teen becomes old enough to drive, not to mention the possibility of traffic tickets and accidents. The CDC believes parents should play a pivotal role in helping them learn and enhance their skills to give them peace of mind.

Parents setting examples

First and foremost, they should establish themselves as role models, setting an example by maintaining the highest standards of motor vehicle operation.

Many driving programs encourage a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement. The pact helps to establish expectations for driving and penalties for breaking traffic laws and can be life-saving when it comes to distracted driving.

Teenagers likely don’t remember a time when smartphones were in the hands of a vast majority of the population. Far too often, they serve as distractions for young people. Operating a motor vehicle while checking social media or viewing other apps is a recipe for disaster.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that more than 324,000 accidents resulting in injuries involved distracted drivers. Approximately 3,140 died in these types of collisions.

Remedies exist to also stop incoming communications with a defacto “Do Not Disturb” setting. Other ways eyes can leave the road ahead are eating, drinking, talking with passengers, and changing radio stations.

The responsibility of any parent is to protect their kids from harm. That obligation includes ensuring the safe operation of a teenager’s motor vehicle.