There is nothing more rewarding for a teenager than to be trusted enough to drive on their own. For parents, it can be a grueling task to pass the keys of the car too. Motor vehicular accidents happen to be the leading cause of death for teenagers.
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Based on a 2013 statistics, a total of 2,163 teens in the United States lost their lives from vehicle accidents, and 243,243 were rushed to emergency rooms for treating injuries. The most at risk ages for motor-related accidents range from 16 to 19 years old, and on a more disturbing note, teen drivers from these ages are three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash.
Having a teenager behind the wheel may be a good way to instill positive reinforcement for performing well in school or other activities, and it even is a recommended method to teach them about responsibility as they transition to adults. But as an adult, you need to consider the following factors and statistics that contribute to the risk of putting children behind the wheel.
- In Australia, over 60 percent of car accidents are from 17- to 20- year olds
- Male teenagers in the United States have the highest number of car-related fatalities
- The presence of teen passengers increases the risk of vehicular accidents
- Crash risk is particularly high during the first month of driving
- In Australia alone, 33 percent of teenagers are likely to have a car crash during their first 12 months on the road
- Most of these fatalities are because of driving under the influence
Having more passengers increases the risk of accidents
The likeliness of a car crash by a 17-year-old is increased by 50 percent whenever there is a passenger in the car. The more passengers, the bigger the possibility the ride will end up in tragedy. Meaning, if the teen has three teens in their vehicle, the chances of crashing increases up to 200 percent. As a parent, you need to enforce the importance of their safety by stating that they should regulate the number of passengers they accommodate in their cars.
Teenager’s temperament and state of mind
Teenagers are not really as logical as most adults. Their minds are still developing, so their decision making skills are not reliable, and they often act on impulse. Teenagers still need to be able to steer clear of hazardous situations especially on the road, but tendency is, they won’t be able to recognize them. During situations like this, education is key. Make sure your teen is physically and mentally ready to take on the road before you hand them the keys.
Driving at night or varying weather conditions
Crash rate for teenagers aged 16–17 increases by 400 percent when driving at night. This is attributed to factors such as low visibility, fatigue, and inexperience. There are many states and countries that restrict teens driving in the road at a certain time. A good example is New Zealand, which prevents teenage drivers from driving after 10:00 p.m.
As for weather conditions, it is recommended that teens stay off the road when the weather takes a turn for the worst, just as all motorists are advised to do.
Teens are easily distracted. Technology is the number one factor that can endanger teens while driving—cellphones, most especially. And as a matter of fact, as much as 86 percent of teenagers admitted to getting distracted by activities such as changing the station, adjusting the air conditioner, and even talking to a friend. Adults are also guilty of committing such acts.
Teenagers often find themselves underestimating dangerous situations by going over the speed limit and even drinking alcohol, saying that they can “handle it.” Teens even neglect other traffic rules, no matter how simple they are.
For adults, restricting your teen from the wheel is not the solution—what you need to do is to educate them. Make sure you explain to them clearly all the risks while on the road and the rules they should follow if they want to keep the car. Among these are always keeping your seat belt on and to never drink and drive. Overall, they need to be good examples when behind the wheel.
Adults should make use of GPS technology to be able to ensure the safety and security of their teens. Trackimo offers up-to-date GPS technology that enables you to track teenagers while they are on the road. It comes with a convenient mobile application that provides real-time notifications.