Your teen is now ready to drive, what a momentous occasion! Likely as excited as your teen may be, we can imagine there are many fears that you’re having around driver safety and road risks. The dangers are very real and concerning, so this guide may help you have a life-saving conversation with your precious teen.
According to the CDC, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for teens living in the States. Regarding teens aged 16-19, approximately six will lose their lives in this country every day from injuries sustained during a motor vehicle crash. This number is 3 times greater than experienced drivers,
If you are a concerned parent to a teen, which is highly likely, it’s imperative that your teenage children understand the serious risks involved with driving. Though the aim is not to scare your kids, your teens need to heed the warnings of national statistics, safe driving guidelines, and traffic laws.
Even if your teen may attend driving ed. classes, there are some lessons that you may want to run through with them personally. And though this may not be a fun conversation, it may very well save their life.
Phones are a major cause for concern.
For every teen that possesses a smartphone today, distracted driving is of utmost importance. As distracted driving is one of the leading causes of vehicle accidents, teens should be warned which behaviors constitute this legal offense. Some case studies dating back to 2009 show that a driver who is texting is 23 times more likely to get into a motor crash than a driver who is not texting. This number is shocking – and your teen should know that this figure has remained a national problem! However, distracted driving speaks to much more than merely texting.
What constitutes distracted driving?
Distracted driving occurs as a result of any action that takes the driver’s attention off the road. Some of the most common accident-causing distractions include changing the radio or song, working GPS while driving, and even picking up fallen items off the floor. Your teen should understand that anything taking their eyes off the road is dangerous and should rather be done by a passenger or when the vehicle is stopped.
Drinking under the influence.
In every state, there is a minimum legal drinking age of 21 years old, as well as zero-tolerance laws making it illegal to drive after consuming alcohol. Still, statistics show that about 1 in 10 teen drivers will drink alcohol and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Though this is concerning for various reasons, alcohol and drug abuse impair your ability for sound reasoning and attentive driving. Additionally, drugs and alcohol greatly affect the speed at which you are able to reactively maintain control of your vehicle, impacting the risk of driving.
Wearing a safety belt.
Becoming personally injured in a vehicle accident is not inevitable. There are further steps that can be taken to avoid getting injured as a result of a car accident in the first place. Since the late 1960’s when seat belts were first required by law to be fitted in vehicles, lawmakers, relevant professionals, and concerned citizens have pleaded with drivers to wear a safety belt.
No matter how short or relaxed the trip may be, car accidents can and do occur at any time. For those who often drive in more rural areas, where more motor vehicle accidents across Alabama and Georgia seem to take place, choosing to simply strap in can save your life!
How do you drive, as a parent?
If you may be concerned about your teen taking to the wheel, it might be important to think through how driving has been modeled to them over the years. Upon closer inspection, it may become apparent that you, as an adult, do not follow all driving and traffic laws. Though this is problematic for you, it could influence your inexperienced teen to take similar risks, unmistakably putting their life in danger. Having said that, you can always decide to change your driving habits too.
As a parent, it is a fantastic idea to model safe driving behavior. Showing your teen how you drive safely will motivate law-abiding behavior, as well as encourage your teen to be a great influence on his or her friends when they begin driving.
Learning how to drive is one of the most exciting privileges for teens on their way to becoming adults. If done safely, it is an activity that can bring much enjoyment, fun, and adventures for your loved ones. Drive safely at all costs and this is a sure way for a nightmare accident to be avoided!