Cars have evolved greatly since the last decade. They have become faster, smarter, and safer—resulting in a decline in collision-related casualties by 25% in the United States. But for teenage drivers, the statistics remain the same. The risk is still as high as ever.
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According to Nicole Morris, a researcher at the University of Minnesota, the 16–17 age range is the most dangerous two years in one’s life—and the reason is driving.
Based on the data gathered by Morris, the number one cause of a teen’s death is not suicide nor cancer but car crashes. An average of six teenagers die every day in 2013 due to vehicle-related accidents.
Smartphone is not the only culprit in the car accidents involving teens. Morris found out that various kinds of distractions are also big factors.
Teen driving with friends
Morris says each non-family passenger increases the risk of a teenage driver of having an accident by 44%. Each additional non-family member doubles the risk. Friends tend to encourage the youth to increase speed, smartphone doesn’t.
DUI and late-night driving
About a third of teenagers that got killed in car accidents had traces of alcohol in their body, according to the 2013 record of US Department of Transportation. Driving at late night made it worse.
If cellphone rings, be it a text, a call, or social media notification, teen drivers find it hard to ignore. Hands-free technologies don’t really help much. Even if their eyes are on the road, if their mind is elsewhere, that’s still dangerous.
There are a lot of car crash prevention technology available today that can help ease the minds of parents. Car features such as forward-collision warnings, lane-keeping assist, automatic braking, and GPS tracker are just some of the technologies—not completely foolproof but could help lower the risk of getting into an accident.
Morris says that parents need to carefully watch when their teen is behind the wheel.
Since it’s impossible for parents to be with them physically all the time, putting GPS tracking device like Trackimo on the teen’s car is a good idea. With the device, you can keep an eye on them from afar. You can see their real-time location and the speed they are going.
“If you’re not paying attention, chances are they’re not driving as safely as you think they are.”