Even for an experienced operator, driving in Massachusetts and Rhode Island can be a challenge, so our new teen drivers need all of the help they can get. We all need to help our young drivers make better decisions behind the wheel, to help them to avoid car accidents and steer them away from distracted driving and other dangerous habits.
Some Stats and Facts On Teens and Car Accidents
Operating a motor vehicle can be dangerous and even deadly. Take a look at some of these facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the National Safety Council:
- Car crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens ages 14 through 18.
- A teen’s crash risk is three times that of more experienced drivers.
- Being in a car with three or more teen passengers quadruples a teen driver’s crash risk.
- More than half of teens killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
Educate Your Teen Driver About These Factors
Speed: Speeding continues to grow as a factor in fatal crashes involving teen drivers. A lot of emphasis is rightly placed on the risks of distracted driving or driving under the influence, but all too often in car crashes, speed is a factor.
Alcohol: Many teens drink illegally due to peer pressure and other factors. Not only does the risk of a serious, fatal crash increase once alcohol is involved, jail time is a possibility as well.
Seat belts: It is important to set a good example and always wear our seat belts. Seat belts are a simple way to protect yourself in a crash, so let teens know that buckling up is mandatory and SMART.
Phones: We can’t say it enough…Distracted driving is dangerous driving! This is especially true for an inexperienced teen behind the wheel. Tell them to ALWAYS avoid calls, texting, etc. when behind the wheel.
Passengers: Though sometimes understated, passengers can be a major distraction while driving. That freedom that comes with driving is exciting for a teen driver and their friends. Tell your teen that it’s ok to tell their friends to respect that driving is a big responsibility and to curb their raucous behavior a bit.
A Simple Conversation Can Save Lives
Because teens don’t have much experience, it is very important to have conversations about safe driving. They may have passed their driving test and got their license, but anything you can do to educate them further. It may save lives.
*The above is not to be considered as legal advice. Every case is different and the laws which apply may differ from state to state.
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