Distracted Driving

It is no question that teenagers and unsupervised driving can be a dangerous thing. So as an adult, it is important to get the facts right so you will be aware just how deadly this can be. The numbers presented on this list should not discourage parents in allowing their children to drive on their own, but instead it should make them and their teens be more responsible when behind the wheel. After all, car accidents may be rampant nowadays, but that does not mean they aren’t totally unavoidable.

The main problem with teenage drivers is their tendency to get distracted over several things. This could be by another passenger to getting distracted by their own mobile phone. Either way, this behavior is very hazardous and can easily lead to fatal accidents.

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Car Accident Statistics

Below are statistics that cover teenage drivers:

Teen Drivers: Cell Phones and Texting

  • 12% of distracted drivers are of the ages 15 to 19 years old
  • 56% of them take calls while behind the wheel
  • 13% text while driving
  • 32.8% high school students have sent e-mails while driving
  • 34%  of 16- and 17-year-old teen drivers have admitted on respond to text while driving
  • Talking on the phone while behind the wheel is more likely to slower a teen driver’s reaction time compare to that of a 70-year-old

Teen Drivers: Underage Drinking

  • According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving(MADD), a quarter of fatal teen car accidents are caused by drunk driving
  • 33% of young drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 years old that were killed in crashes have a BAC of 01 or higher while 28% had a BAC of .08 or higher
  • 60% of teen drivers did not use the seat belt while under the influence of alcohol
  • 27% of fatal drunk-driving-related accidents were males, females, on the other hand, made up 15% of the occurrences
  • 8.2% of high school students admit to driving even when consuming alcohol

Teen Driving Accident Statistics Per Year:

2013 

  • 2,524 motor vehicle related in that year alone
  • 120 of these fatalities were caused by motorcycles
  • 8 teens die per day due to car accidents
  • Car crash fatalities occur on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday and the most common time is from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • June, the start of summer vacation, had the highest incidents of teen driving deaths resulting in as many as 260 fatalities.

2014

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS),

  • Teenagers account for 8% of motor vehicle crash deaths
  • Teenagers comprise 10% of passenger vehicle (cars, pickups, SUVs, and vans) occupant deaths among all ages
  • Teenage driving contributes to  5% of pedestrian deaths
  • Teenage driving was the top cause of deaths for males ages 13 to 19 in 2014

Driving LessonsGeneral Causes of Teen Driving Accidents:

  • 15% of teen driving accidents are from interacting with other passengers in the vehicle
  • 12% of these crashes are because of cellphone use
  • 10% is from being distracted by something inside the vehicle
  • 9% of teens get into accidents from being distracted by anything outside the vehicle
  • 8% singing or moving to music
  • 6% grooming
  • 6% reaching for an object while driving

Car Accident

What can adults do to keep teens safe?

The number one rule for safe driving is to never let your eyes leave the road. As mentioned, teenagers unfortunately do not have the same amount of discipline as adults do. Teenagers underestimate the risks they place on themselves and others on the highway by carelessly multitasking. In fact, just six months into getting their license, most teenagers neglect safe driving by texting, eating, and adjusting the radio while driving.

Parent should be familiar with driver education programs. Graduate licensing programs are available in almost every state. They have effectively reduced crash rates for countries like New Zealand, United States, and Australia. Learn about the different laws in your state, but do know that some are more lenient than others. It is important that parents do not just rely on this and should at least set the basic rules for teenagers when it comes to driving: set driving curfew to prevent night driving accidents, limit number of passengers, and ban alcohol or drugs.

Choose safe vehicles suitable for teens. Teens should drive vehicles that can protect them from injury in case of a crash. Big vehicles—like a mini SUV—are ideal compared to smaller cars as they don’t come with ideal collision protection. Also, parents should not purchase models with high horsepower so speeding will be discouraged. Find cars that have high safety ratings as well.

Get a reliable GPS monitoring device. Devices like Trackimo are essential for families looking to monitor their teens’ behavior. This does not mean a total invasion of privacy, so make sure to discuss the importance of its other features such as a distress button for emergency situations or driving reports (sudden brake, speeding, etc.) to your teen when you decide to invest in this monitoring device. Another advantage of having a GPS tracking system installed in a vehicle is that this prompts insurance companies to generally lower the insurance cost in vehicles.

Adults must learn to be good role models. To make teenagers safe drivers, allow them to learn from one. It has been proven that most teenagers that are involved in crashes or go against traffic rules have parents who do the same. Statistics even show that as many as 56% of teenagers rely on their parents to learn how to drive.

Teenage Drivers

Among all age groups, teens from 16 to 19 years old are the most at risk of getting involved in a motor vehicle crash. This demographic is most likely to get in an accident that for each mile driven, they have three times more chances to be involved in a fatal crash than individuals above 20 year old. Sadly, more teenagers die each year from traffic accidents more than diseases.

When parents step up and do something, they can help reduce the numbers by displaying the right behavior and taking the necessary measures to prevent erratic driving altogether. Do not let a young life meet an abrupt end because of reckless behavior. Teens, on their part, should be knowledgeable of the risks and should focus on the likely outcomes of bad decisions.

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Amanda Thomas

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