Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens ages 16-19. In fact, six teens are killed each day in crashes that are entirely preventable. Per miles driven, teen drivers are nearly three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be killed in a crash. Even the best and brightest teens have increased risk of being involved in a deadly crash.
Teens lack the experience, skills and maturity of a seasoned driver, which contribute to an increase in the chance that there will be a deadly outcome, not just for the teen driver, but also for any passenger as well as others on the road. So we all have a vested interest in ensuring that the teens in our lives are safe when behind the wheel.
Understanding the risks and knowing the facts will prepare both you and your teen for the road ahead.
|Driving with passengers||Teen drivers’ crash risks multiply when they have teen passengers. Set limits and enforce them.|
|Driving at night||Night driving is more dangerous because of limited visibility, fatigue, and impaired drivers on the road. This is especially a risky time for teens. Limit the time your novice driver spends behind the wheel at night.|
|Not wearing a seat belt||Wearing a seat belt greatly reduces the risk of being hurt or killed in a crash. Make a rule: everyone buckles up for every trip.|
|Speeding||Speed is a leading factor in crashes for teens and adults. Teens need to follow posted speed limit and parents should set a good example and strong rules.|
|Distracted driving||We know that teen passengers are the biggest distraction to teen drivers, but cell phones come in second. Many teens admit to interacting with their phone and in-car infotainment systems while behind the wheel despite clear dangers. Make a family rule covering these and other distractions that everyone abides by.|
|Drowsy driving||Teens have a hard time getting enough sleep and often struggle with drowsiness. Drowsy driving is as dangerous as drunk driving, and teens have the highest risk. Ensure everyone who is behind the wheel has gotten enough sleep.|
|Impaired driving||Driving impaired from alcohol and other drugs puts everyone at risk. Enforce strict zero tolerance rules with your teen and be a good role model.|