Last updated on May 1, 2019 at 03:25 pm
Did you know that teen drivers have the highest accident and fatality rates of any age group?
According to the Center for Disease Control, six teens ages 16 to 19 died and hundreds more were injured every day due to motor vehicle crashes in 2016 alone. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly three times more likely than drivers ages 20 and older to be involved in a fatal crash.
Scary stuff, right?
If you’re the parent of a young driver, you can help protect your teen by learning about the problem and taking steps to decrease your teenager’s risk of injuries in a car crash.
First, why are teens at an increased risk? There are several reasons:
- Lack of experience and judgment – They are new drivers
- Overestimating their driving abilities
- Speeding and driving too fast for traffic and weather conditions
- Drinking and driving
- Not wearing a seat belt
- Not paying attention
- Doing a lot of night driving
- Talking on a cell phone while driving
- Texting while driving
So, what are things you can do to educate your teen?
- Buckle up! Always, always, always instruct your teen to wear his / her seat belt. And the same goes for the parents. Your children will follow your lead. If you always wear your seat belt, it should be second nature for your children to continue. Monkey see, monkey do.
- Practice, practice, practice. Spend the time with your teenager to be comfortable on the road.
- Have your teen take a defensive driving course.
- Make them pay. By making your teen pay a portion of their car insurance, gas, and maintenance, it motivates them to drive more responsibly.
- Zero tolerance. Be strict with your teen. Drinking and driving, texting and driving, distracted driving (cell phone, food, loud music, etc.) just can’t be allowed. If your teen can’t follow the rules you create for them, there has to be consequences.
And, of course, be a safe driver yourself. Join us at the Plymouth Rock Assurance Distracted Driving Challenge, designed to illustrate the dangers of distracted driving and make Jersey’s roads a safer place.
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