If you have teenage children, you probably have seen their enthusiasm to start driving a car. While you may embrace the appeal of your children driving themselves, you probably also feel concerned about their safety.
When you know some of the risks your teenagers may face, as well as why they are more likely to crash, you can set appropriate boundaries. Establishing your expectations early on may reduce the likelihood of irresponsible behavior behind the wheel.
Lack of experience
A visible reason why teenagers are more vulnerable to accidents is because of their lack of experience. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2019, nearly 2,500 teenagers suffered fatal injuries in car accidents. Even experienced drivers may have moments where they feel uneasy while driving or where they encounter a hazard that leaves them feeling rattled. For your child, who has little experience on the road, even minor situations can cause panic and result in an irrational response.
You can help build your teenager’s confidence when you provide ample opportunities to practice. Introduce them to different stretches of road, various traffic patterns and changing environments. Have open discussions about the best responses in precarious situations. Remind them to practice defensive driving and to always stay vigilant to their surroundings.
Distraction is another prominent reason that teenagers experience automobile accidents. Loud conversations with rambunctious passengers, texting, eating and even listening to music can all impair your teen’s attention. Clearly disclose your expectations regarding the number of passengers your teen can drive around. Discourage cell phone use and outline the consequences for non-compliant behavior.
Your effort to educate and prepare your teenage drivers may facilitate their responsibility and protection. If an accident does occur, discuss what went wrong to avoid future incidents from happening.