One of the most exciting times of a teenager’s life is finally getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. Driving is a milestone that opens great opportunities to a young teen on their journey through life. While the momentous occasion will definitely make parents proud, a new teen driver can also spark some safety concerns that need to be addressed.
The CDC has some very alarming statistics for teen drivers. Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of death for teens in the US. Per mile driven, teen drivers aged 16-19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 or older to be involved in a fatal crash. These numbers can be scary, but they can also be used to determine ways to help keep teen drivers safe.
It is increasingly more common for teens to drive distracted. In a recent survey, 39 percent of high school students who drove send a text or e-mail while driving at least once in 30 days. Other factors such as speeding, extra passengers, alcohol consumption, loud music, and phone calls are considered distracted driving that could increase the risk of a fatal crash
Seatbelt safety is often overlooked by teens as well. In 2018, 69 percent of drivers aged 15-20 who were killed in fatal motor vehicle crashes were not wearing seat belts according to the CDC. It is imperative to always wear a seat belt when in a motor vehicle. It can reduce the risk of serious injury and death during a crash by at least 50 percent.
We know parents take the safety and wellbeing of their children very seriously, but may not know how to talk to their children about the dangers of distracted driving. We are attaching a driving contract for you to download that goes over many different distractions that may arise in a motor vehicle. We encourage parents to sit down with their children and go over this contract to ensure that they are aware of the dangers and consequences of distracted driving. We hope that you and your teens stay safe when driving!