The most dangerous thing that your child will do in the next few years is driving a motor vehicle. In the United States more than 3,000 teens die each year in car crashes. That’s just the tip of the iceberg with more than 450,000 teen injuries.
It’s simple, a teen’s low level of experience means that they are less skilled, less proficient. You, and other experienced drivers, are better at scanning, detecting, and responding to potential hazards. You, as an experienced driver, are better at vehicle control, especially at high speeds.
40% of parents don’t know that car crashes are the #1 cause of death for teens!
Distractions certainly play a role as well, and increase the chances of a crash for a group of drivers already at great risk than the rest of us. No cell phone use at all for new drivers is the best rule, and it’s the law.
30% of parents are setting no rules at home about driving.
You, the parent are important! 80% of teens rate you as their #1 driving influence. So, model good driving behavior for your kids, and set rules by signing a teen/parent driving agreement.
Laws about teen driving, called Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL), phase in the driving privilege in an effort to give teens more driving experience before they are on their own. These GDL laws have resulted in 40% reduction in teen motor vehicle crash deaths. The laws work and you can and should enforce them at home.
77% of teens admit feeling unsafe while driving with another teen.
There are some great resources out there for parents including the following: