Poor driving habits and inexperience are the main factors involved in teen driving accidents. Parents often look forward to the moment when their teenage children can drive themselves to school and sports practices, but this momentous occasion can also result in parental anxiety and fear. Considering that auto accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, parents have a reason to feel anxious. Fortunately, most of these accidents are preventable. This back to school season, teach your teen driver how to avoid being seriously injured or killed in a preventable auto accident.
Teens have a tendency to feel invincible. This “Superman Complex,” coupled with a lack of experience behind the wheel, can be extremely dangerous. Poor driving habits such as speeding, and reckless and distracted driving, are common factors in teen driving accidents. As a parent, the first step in combating these behaviors is to provide a good example. Practice what you preach; don’t text or talk on your cell phone when behind the wheel. If you must take a call, find a safe spot to pull over before doing so. Keep your phone in the glove box or stashed away in your purse while driving. Our children pay attention to our behaviors more than we think. A Boston auto accident lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if you’ve been injured due to another driver’s negligence.
Safety Starts with the Vehicle
In addition to setting a good example, it’s important to set your teen driver up for success. This means providing your young one with a safe vehicle to drive. It doesn’t mean you have to spend $30,000 on a trendy, brand new car. Older cars can be just as safe if they are well-maintained. Check tires to ensure they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread. Bad tires are more prone to hydroplaning on wet roads and blowing out at high speeds. A young, inexperienced driver is less likely to respond appropriately in either of those situations.
8 Danger Zones
According to the CDC, at least one of the eight scenarios below is a factor in most teen car accidents.
- Driving with teen passengers
- Driving at night
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Not wearing a seatbelt
- Impaired driving
Safety Tips From the Insurance Information Institute
If you have teen drivers in your household, educating them about good driving behaviors can help reduce their chances of becoming a statistic:
- Before purchasing a car for your teen, do your research. Check to make sure the vehicle has performed well in crash tests and ranks highly for safety.
- If your area or school offers a driver education or “safe driver” class, enroll your child in the program immediately.
- Talk to your children frequently about the dangers of impaired driving, distracted and reckless driving, speeding, and other bad driving behaviors. Even if they roll their eyes, they are
- Teen drivers should avoid having teen passengers for at least six months to a year after they get their license.
- Always model good driving behaviors for your teen.