Teenage drivers pose a threat to other vehicle operators because of various reasons. In general, they lack the experience that is necessary to judge certain driving situations, and they tend to practice risky behaviors, such as driving distracted.
Although safe driving classes help, parents are the biggest influences on improving teenage driving skills and reducing accidents.
Risk factors involved with teen drivers
According to Medline Plus, teenagers and people in their early 20s are in the highest number of fatal crashes. Inexperience is one of the main reasons why they are in so many accidents, and they do not understand how dangerous driving distracted is. Phone use, the presence of other teens in the car, eating and putting on makeup are some of the behaviors that young drivers practice while behind the wheel.
How parents can help
To help combat risky behaviors, experts recommend that teenagers refrain from having friends in the car for the first three to six months. During at least the first six months, parents should ride along frequently with their teen and help guide them through a variety of driving situations.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, parents can help improve driver safety by outlining certain rules that the teenager must follow. These rules may include:
- No driving after a certain time
- No teenage passengers
- 100% seatbelt use
- No phone use while driving
- No drinking and driving
Parents should also discuss consequences if the teen breaks any of the rules.
Most states have graduated licensing programs, and parents can do their parts by making sure their teens follow the policies. Parents can also make a big difference by being good role models. While operating a motor vehicle, they should refrain from all distracted driving, follow all traffic rules and wear a seatbelt.