Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death for teens in the United States. Teen are new to the road, less comfortable behind the wheel, and more likely to be distracted by friends or electronics in the vehicle.
Tips for Safe Teen Drivers
- Put away your phone – Studies have shown that using a cell phone while driving is just as dangerous as driving drunk, including hands-free calling.
- Don’t text – Even more dangerous is texting while driving. Texting causes a driver to lose focus on the road an average of 4.6 seconds, or the time it takes to drive the length of a football field.
- Obey the speed limit – Speeding is often tempting for teen drivers, but it is a major factor in fatal accidents involving teen drivers.
- Drive alone – Having a single teen passenger in the car can double the risk of an having an accident for teen drivers. Additional passengers increases the risk even more.
- Use a seatbelt – It is illegal to drive without a seatbelt, but still a study fatal accidents involving teen drivers found that 60% were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.
- Limit nighttime driving – Night driving can be tricky for even an experienced driver, but for teens, driving at night greatly increases the risk of being involved in a fatal accident.
It takes time to become comfortable behind the wheel. While all drivers should observe the above safety rules, it is even more important for teens in order to keep not only themselves, but others on the road, safe.