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5 Big contributors to teen car accidents

| Oct 12, 2020 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

As a parent, watching your teenager become a licensed driver can bring up many different emotions. While you may feel relieved that your teen can finally get themselves around on their own, you’re likely also terrified at the idea of them behind the wheel. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S., and six teens die in car crashes each day.

Fortunately, teen driving accidents are preventable. By understanding the key contributors that cause teens to crash on the road, you can help your kid know the risks and establish rules to keep them safe. According to the CDC, here are five leading causes of teen car accidents and how to avoid them:

1. Inexperience

The first year a teen has their license is the most dangerous for them due to inexperience. Make sure you and your teen log plenty of hours driving in a variety of different conditions and at different times of the day. You should also emphasize the importance of always staying focused on the road while driving.

2. Passengers

Your teen may want to cruise around with their friends, but their crash risk goes up when they have other teenagers in the car. You can limit the number of passengers to zero or one for the first six months your teen is driving to ensure they don’t get distracted.

3. Darkness

Driving at night is dangerous for drivers of any experience level, but the risk is significantly higher for teenagers. You can set rules that ensure your teen is off the road before dark until you think they are ready for the challenges of night driving.

4. Distractions

Distracted driving can have deadly consequences for drivers of all ages on the road. Cellphone use, eating or adjusting the radio can all take your teen’s focus away from driving. Explain the dangers of distracted driving to your teen and set a good example by never driving distracted yourself.

5. Recklessness

Reckless driving can include risky behaviors like speeding, tailgating or other aggressive actions behind the wheel. Teens are especially prone to reckless driving because they lack the maturity, experience, and judgment of adulthood. Educate your teen that speeding puts everyone on the road at risk and teach them to leave plenty of space between the vehicles ahead of them.

Understanding the causes of teen driving accidents can help you teach your kid how to stay safe while driving. Talk to your teens about these risk factors and encourage them to practice good driving habits to ensure they always get home safely.