Did you know that car accidents are the #1 cause of death among teens in the US?
Car accidents are the leading cause of death among teenagers in Texas, and teenage drivers are more likely to get into a serious car accident than any other age demographic. Why are teens so susceptible to car accidents and car accident injuries, and how can we help prevent teen car crashes?
The biggest issue with teen drivers is simply that they lack experience behind the wheel. They are less familiar with how to maneuver a vehicle, they have less experience in bad weather conditions, and they have less of an idea of how speed can affect a vehicle. The second biggest issue with teen drivers is that they are more apt to make poor driving decisions and to take unnecessary risks – mostly because they are less mature than older drivers and because their brain is still developing when it comes to risk assessment and behavior.
What can you do to help keep your teen driver safe?
- Make sure they buckle up. Wearing their seat belt is the best and simplest way to avoid serious injuries in a car accident. Always wear your seat belt in front of your teen children and make it a rule that they buckle up before driving.
- Kill the distractions. Teen has grown up with texting, cell phones, and multi-tasking, but it can be deadly behind the wheel. Remind your teen of the texting laws in Texas and make sure that their phone isn’t even in reach when they are driving. Have then put mobile devices in the glove compartment or the back seat.
- Establish a curfew. The majority of deadly teen car accidents take place at night – and often involve reckless driving, speeding, and drinking. Keeping your kids off of the roads at night keeps them out of trouble and keeps them from getting involved in dangerous nighttime activities with friends.
- Always offer a ride home. Have a candid talk with your teens about drinking, and realize that you can disapprove of underage drinking while still letting your children know that they can absolutely always call you for help if they have been drinking or their driver has been drinking.
- Develop driving experience. Take your child to an empty parking lot to drive in the rain and snow so that they know how their car handles. Make sure they gain experience driving at night with you in the passenger seat to guide them. Take your child to both a rural area and an urban area so that they are comfortable driving in varied types of traffic.