Statistically speaking, teens have the highest percentage of accidents on the road. Most of their accidents occur within the first six months of driving. This in part relates to their lack of experience behind the wheel and distractions. According to an article printed on Teen Driver Source, motor vehicles are the number one cause of death among adolescents. In 2013, there were close to one million accidents involving teen drivers.
Many young drivers believe they are invincible. This again comes from their immaturity and lack of driving experience. As a result, they use their cell phones to talk and text. They also listen to loud music and ride with several friends. These are distractions that can cause anyone to remove their eyes from the road. In that moment with limited time behind the wheel, they can lose control.
Speed is another cause of accidents among new drivers. Many do not slow down to a safe speed when making turns and pass irresponsibly. This also comes with their lack of experience in handling a vehicle. More states are now bringing in new laws to increase the time behind the wheel with an adult before a teen can get their license. The Graduated Driver’s License is one such program. It uses a series of stages to help teens gain knowledge and experience behind the wheel. Since its debut in 1996, this program has reported a decrease in accidents.
Parents can also help. Give your child guidelines for using the car. Also, sit them down and explain the responsibilities that go along with driving. Discuss things like poor weather conditions, vehicle maintenance and knowing how to change a tire. The more your child knows the better prepared he/she is in the event of a breakdown. Parents should also instruct children to remain inside the vehicle if they become part of an accident. This is for many reasons. If they sustain injuries it can hurt them to stand up and the scene of the accident may not be safe. Also, they should know the basic rules such as no drinking and driving or speeding.
The odds that a young driver will get into an accident are higher than any other group on the road. Because of this, you should prepare yourself as to what to do when you get the call. First, get them to a hospital or doctor for a thorough examination. Once that's complete, get a statement from your child about what happened. Before they give a statement to the police it's in their best interest to contact a respected attorney. They will speak with your child and represent them each step of the way.
Nobody expects their child to get into an accident. Talk to your child and make it clear the responsibility that goes with driving. For many teens, it opens the door to a wealth of freedom. You don't want that freedom to turn into your worst nightmare.