Teen Driver Awareness is extremely important, especially to parents. As you know, many teens pass their drivers test every year leading to young, inexperienced drivers. Did you know that 450,000 teens are injured in car crashes every year? More shocking numbers include 27,000 who are hospitalized and 5,500 who lose their life. While teens are not always a poor driver, it doesn’t take much for a situation to occur that can lead to an accident. Even the safest of drivers can be impacted by various factors. American Heritage Insurance Group wants the parents of teen drivers to share the data below and to know how to teach their new drivers about how dangerous driving a vehicle can be.
3 Primary Factors of Teen Driver Deaths
- Alcohol: Teens are more likely to be affected by alcohol because of their age and they may not realize their limits because of inexperience. Many teens do not drink and parents should stress the issues that can occur from drinking. Parents should also stress that they should never drink and drive at any point in their life. But, people sometimes do not follow the rules and when that happens they need to be prepared. Parents, you should make sure your teen driver understands how drinking can impair them especially when driving. Bring awareness to the fact that not only could they harm themselves but they could harm others as well.
- Seat Belts: Teens should make sure that both them and their passengers are always wearing their seat belts. It’s statistically one of the best ways to prevent an injury and death if you are in an accident. Parents need to make sure that teens understand the risks they take if they do not wear a seat belt. Also, most states require seat belts by law. Let your teen driver know that if they do not wear them or if passengers do not wear them that they could receive a ticket.
- Distractions: While drivers in general have to manage distractions, experience plays a key role in how well it is done. Teen drivers lack the experience of different distractions that can occur while driving. Parents, make sure your teen driver understands where distractions can come from and how to manage them. See our list below:
- Talking on Cell Phones / Text Messaging – Stress that at no time it is allowed to talk on the phone or text and drive. Remind them that they can pull over if necessary.
- Eating / Drinking
- Adjusting the Radio, CD Player, Temperature Controls
- Listening to Music too Loudly / Using Headphones
More Facts About Teen Driving
- The leading cause of death for people ages 16-24 in the United States is motor vehicle crashes.
- Additional Teen Driver Death Factors Include: driver inexperience, speeding, aggressive / reckless driving, nighttime driving, unlicensed / underage driving, and unsafe vehicles / equipment.
- Parents are the number one influence on teen drivers.
- About 1/2 of teens will likely crash before graduating high school.
- 9 p.m. – 6 a.m. is the most deadly time for teens on the road.
- Summer is the deadliest season for teens on the road.
Tips & Facts for Parents
- Be a passenger. Ride with your teen driver at least 30 minutes a week, especially the first year after your teen is licensed.
- Follow driving laws. Use these laws as a starting point to setting your own rules of the road for your child.
- Lead by example. Model your good driving behavior behind the wheel. And remember, your teen is watching.
- 84% of parents and 79% of teens admit to speeding.
- More parents than teens use their phones while driving.