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Dangers Posed by Teen Drivers and How Parents Should Help

By stladmin on July 30, 2023

A teenage girl sitting behind the steering wheel of a car and listening to her mothers instructions as she drives.

It can be scary for parents to hand over the car keys to a teen driver, and justifiably so. Teenagers are more likely to be involved in a crash than older, more experienced drivers. We want to shed light on the dangers associated with teen drivers and guide parents on how they can help increase their child’s safety and knowledge on the road.

Immaturity and Lack of Experience

The typical teenager does not have the driving responsibility level of an adult. Teens tend to feel invincible and take more risks, such as speeding or running yellow lights. Teen drivers also lack the experience to develop and implement good driving judgment and skills. For example, they may be more prone to misjudge the speed and distance of an oncoming vehicle when turning left at an intersection or merging into traffic.

Technology and Distractions

Today’s teens live in a digital age. Most spend a lot of time on their smartphones, talking, texting, or going on social media. This behavior is dangerous when behind the wheel of a car. Parents should emphasize the dangers of distracted driving and encourage responsible cellphone use. Setting strict rules and modeling good behavior can help instill safer driving habits in teens.

Peer Pressure and Reckless Behavior

Teens are often influenced by pressure from their peers, which can lead to reckless behavior on the road. Speeding, street racing, and executing risky maneuvers are examples of dangerous actions that may result from peer influence. Parents should talk openly with their teens about the risks of dangerous driving behavior and emphasize the importance of making responsible choices behind the wheel.

Failure to Buckle Up

For decades, seat belts have been one of the most effective ways to prevent or minimize injuries in a car accident. Seat belt use is the lowest among teen drivers, as reported by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In the most recently reported year, 51% of teen drivers who died in traffic crashes were unbuckled, and of their passengers, nine out of 10 were killed. Emphasize the importance of seat belt use to your teenager. Establish a clear rule that requires them to wear their seat belt at all times in a vehicle, whether driving or riding as a passenger.

Graduated Driver Licensing and Additional Training

All U.S. states, including Wyoming, have three-stage graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs that limit high-risk situations for new drivers. These programs gradually introduce driving privileges to teens while enforcing restrictions and providing additional training. Typically, GDL programs include supervised driving hours, passenger limitations, and nighttime driving restrictions. By understanding and abiding by the rules of these programs, parents can help their teens gain valuable driving experience and skills in a controlled environment.

Protecting Teens and Others on the Road

Teen drivers face unique risks on the road due to their developmental stage and inexperience. Their likeliness to cause or be involved in an accident poses a serious threat to their safety and the safety of other motorists. It is crucial for parents to actively engage in their teenager’s driving education and promote safe driving habits.

By recognizing the dangers and taking proactive steps to minimize distractions, address peer pressure, emphasize seat belt use, and support GDL programs, parents can help reduce the risk of accidents and better protect their children. Open communication, setting rules, and serving as positive role models are key to fostering responsible and safe driving behavior among teens.

Have a Gillette Car Accident Attorney on Your Side

After being harmed in an accident, don’t hesitate to hire a Gillette car accident lawyer to protect your rights and advocate for the compensation you deserve. The legal team at Steven Titus & Associates, P.C. in Gillette is dedicated to providing knowledgeable, skilled, and effective legal counsel.

If you or your child has been injured in a car accident that was someone else’s fault, we want to hear about it. Call us at (307) 257-7800 for a free initial consultation. Our team is standing by, ready to help.

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