Parents often worry about their teen drivers and for good reason. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has studied accident rates for different age groups and identified that 16 to 19 year olds have the highest accident rate. It is popular to believe that older people cause car accidents, but the reality is that young drivers are the most likely to be involved in a crash. Some factors that contribute to teenagers being a higher risk include the following list.
Lack of Experience
Teenagers don't have the amount of time behind the wheel necessary to provide driving experience. This is especially apparent when it comes to driving in hazardous conditions. Teenagers that have only driven in the summer don't know how to properly handle a car on a snowy road. It takes practice to know how to recover from a skid, or even better, how to prevent one in the first place.
Teenagers have a lower perception of risk and tend to take higher risks. These two factors make them dangerous drivers. They are not as likely to notice a potential issue before it becomes a problem. When they do identify a threat they often don't handle it appropriately. Teenagers don't have the experience necessary to know how to deal with an unexpected situation. Add to this that teenage drivers tend to speed, ignore traffic signals and violate other rules of the road. Whether they do these things to show off to friends or because they do not take traffic rules seriously doesn't matter. In either case they are at higher risk of an accident.
Many states have banned the use of cell phones while driving but this is hard to enforce. Teenagers are more likely to be using a cell phone or texting while driving, which means that they are not completely focused on the road. In addition, they can be distracted by passengers. Both of these things factor into the increased crash risk.
What can parents do to help reduce the likelihood that their teenage child winds up in a car accident? Be sure to provide your child plenty of opportunity to practice driving skills before you hand over a set of keys for them to head out on their own. Make sure they have driven in a variety of different weather conditions. Consider creating and enforcing household rules, such as limiting the number of teenagers allowed in the car while your child is driving. Clearly state your expectation of no texting while driving and that you anticipate all road rules will be followed. If you find out that your rules have been broken, take away the keys. Fear of losing the independence that driving provides may motivate your child to be a safe teenage driver.
Protect your teen today. Call Remco Insurance for more information on auto insurance.