Teenage drivers are known for being less than safe behind the wheel. While some may attribute it to their rambunctious nature, being inexperienced doesn’t help either.
If you the parent to a teenager, you may already know that more teens obtain their driver’s license during the summer than any other time of year. You may also be wondering what you can do to help your teen stay safe behind the wheel.
To know how to help your child stay safe, you first have to know what the dangers are. When it comes to teen driving, having other teenagers in the car poses the biggest risk for an accident. Of all teen accidents in 2013, 36 percent involved other passengers in the car — most of them other teens. Perhaps a rule about no friends in the car or limiting it to just one friend could help prevent an accident.
The second biggest threat to teen driver safety should come as no surprise to parents: cellphones. When a teen looks down at a phone to send a text or check Facebook — even if just for a few seconds — it immediately increases their chances of being in a crash. Plus, in Georgia, cellphone use is illegal for drivers under 18, and texting while driving is illegal for everyone. Explaining this to your child may help them think twice before reaching for the phone while in the car.
Finally, make sure your child wears a seat belt in the car. It is a proven fact that seat belts reduce a person’s chances of injury in an auto accident by 45 percent. Even if your child is involved in a crash, a seat belt could save their life.
Source: The Boston Globe Magazine, “Safety tips and cautionary stats for teen drivers,” Emeralde Jensen-Roberts, July 12, 2015
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