Many of us have suffered through the anxiety of having a teenage driver in the family. It’s nerve-wracking. Those of you who are facing that prospect should take a look at this article about risks faced by teen drivers, and the other article at that site. It’s a commercial site for auto insurance, but has good resources for parents.
Here are the opening paragraphs of the article:
Accidents can’t always be avoided. Even if your teenager is a safe driver who makes good choices on the road, there are many other variables at work. Distractions, bad weather, and poor road conditions can all play a part in causing collisions. Auto accidents can threaten your child’s safety and can also lead to higher insurance premiums. However, if you teach your student driver how to prevent car accidents by being a defensive driver, the possibility of an accident — and higher premiums — can be greatly reduced.
Distractions Can Be Deadly
Avoiding distractions is the easiest way to cut down on the chances of an accident, but unfortunately, distracted driving is extremely common. According to distracted driving statistics on Distraction.gov, a government website that exists to educate drivers on the dangers of distraction, 18% of collisions that led to injuries in 2010 were the result of distractions. Student drivers are especially at risk, as 11% of drivers under 20 who were involved in accidents that caused deaths were distracted drivers.
Texts and Phone Calls
One of the biggest distractions for young drivers is cell phone use. Teens and adults alike have a tendency to answer phone calls and reply to text messages while driving. According to Distraction.gov, using a cell phone while driving can cause the driver to miss out on 4.6 seconds of road time, which can then cause an accident. Firmly instruct your teen to avoid reading and replying to text messages, and encourage them to save phone calls for off the road.
Eating on the Go
Other distractions can lead to collisions as well. Eating, reading, or even changing a radio station can cause a driver to take his or her eyes off the road and thereby risk a collision. Cutting down on those distractions — or even avoiding them entirely — can help decrease the possibility of an accident.