The age group with the highest risk of getting into an accident is teenagers. There are a variety of factors that contribute to this risk, and the lack of experience is one of the biggest.
Two strategies show promise of improving teenage driving skills and experience: Graduated driver licensing programs and parent involvement.
Information and stats about teen drivers
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the number one cause of death among teenagers. Driver inexperience is the leading reason, followed by driving with other teens in the car, driving at night, distracted driving and drowsy driving. The highest risk of accidents is in the first few months after teenagers get their driver’s licenses.
Strategies to reduce crashes
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that one of the strategies states have taken to improve experience and safety behind the wheel is having a graduated driver licensing program. These programs place restrictions on teen driving and gradually remove the restrictions as drivers get older and gain more experience.
Parents also play a large role in how their teenagers drive. Some of the things parents can do to improve the driving skills of their children include:
- Refraining from distracted driving and other risks while behind the wheel
- Accompanying their teen in the vehicle and introducing him or her to various driving conditions
- Making a parent-teen driving agreement and outlining consequences for violations
- Requiring seat belt use at all times
Parents are the ultimate role models for their kids, and practicing good driving habits is one way to help their teenagers become better drivers.