Kids grow up so fast. One day you're teaching them how to take their first steps and the next day, you're teaching them how to parallel park. Getting a driver's license can be a dream come true for most teens and their families but can also cause a great deal of worry. After all, the risk of motor vehicle crashes are higher among teens aged 16-19 compared to any other age group.
So what are the risk factors? How can we prevent them?
Driver inexperience: Unlike older drivers, teens are more likely to not recognize a dangerous
situation or make a risky decision while driving. This is why it is important for parents to make
sure they properly train their child behind the wheel prior to getting the license. It is also good to supervise your teen's driving as much as you can following them receiving the license to ensure you are helping them perfect their motor and decision making skills.
Driving with teen passengers: The risk of a motor vehicle crash gets higher with teens when
there are more underage passengers in the car. According to Georgia Law, "teen drivers can
during the first six months following issuance of license, have only immediate family members ride in the vehicle. During the second six months, following issuance, only one passenger under 21 years of age and who is not a member of the driver’s immediate family can ride in the vehicle. After one year from the date of issuance, only 3 passengers under 21 years of age and who are not members of the driver's immediate family can ride in the vehicle." You should make sure you keep a limit on the amount of friends and other underage passengers your teen has in the car.
Night time driving: As stated earlier, teens are more likely to not recognize a dangerous situation or make a risky decision while driving compared to a more experienced driver. Especially at night, the roads are dark and some more interesting characters are out on the roads. The best thing to do is to limit how much night time driving your teen does. Obviously, they need to know how to drive at night, but they don't need to do it every night. Besides teens shouldn't out too late anyway. Georgia Law states teen drivers, "May not drive between the hours of 12:00 midnight and 5:00 a.m, no exceptions."
Not using seat belts: This is a safety concern that affects everyone. No matter the age, whether you are the driver or the passenger- everyone. Truth is a lot of people may ignore this rule, but it is mandatory to make sure everyone is safe. It is important that teens know and understand that seat belts are made to keep them and their passengers safe and should be worn at all times.
Distracted driving: Teens are more likely to get distracted while driving compared to adult
drivers. It also doesn't help that the younger you are, the shorter your attention span. When
teaching a teen how to drive it's good to teach them how to remain focus and to keep their eyes on the road. Also, let them know that driving isn't a multi-tasking sport, so no phone use or anything like that while driving.
Drowsy driving: No one should be behind the wheel if they are tired or drowsy. Whether from
lack of sleep or medication, no matter the reason teens should know to not put themselves or
anyone else at risk by driving under that condition. Parents should try their best to make sure their teen understands to avoid risky situations such as this. If they are drowsy, they shouldn't drive.
Reckless driving: Some people don't care how they get to their destination they just want to get there. Cutting in front of people, not using turn signals/lanes, ignoring the speed limit, running red lights and stop signs, etc. Being responsible is a trait every driver must have when they are on the road. As the saying goes, "you are not just driving for yourself but everyone else on the road." Following traffic laws and driving to the best of your ability is what keeps everyone safe on the road. Teens need to know being a responsible driver is being a good driver.
Impaired Driving: Driving under the influence is not just unethical but illegal. It's already bad
enough we have some adult drivers that do it, it usually ends up in serious injuries and death.
Teens shouldn't be using alcohol anyways because they are too young. And drugs aren't good for anybody. Parents should make sure their teen understands the dangers of drugs and alcohol, and how it can lead to dangerous effects while driving. Not only can someone gets seriously hurt or worse- killed, but any teen caught under the influence can have major charges brought against them for drug use and/or underage drinking. Especially if their impaired driving caused a death.
If you, or someone you know have been involved in an auto accident, call Your Accident Your Money at (888) 766-6398.